Google Adsense Referral Ad Changes

On Tuesday, Talia Brodecki from Google Adsense Product Marketing, announced that two impending changes to Google Adsense Referral ads. If you, as the publisher, live in North America, Latin America, or Japan, there will be no more sign-up bonus and less earnings for referring a user to Adsense. Check out the link above for more explanation.

The second and more relevant change to me is that publishers outside of the three regions listed above, you will not be able to promote Adsense as referrals. When this change takes effect at the end of January, you may still continue to promote referrals for other products listed in your account under “Adsense Setup” -> “Get Ads” -> “Referrals” (see below).

Google Adsense Referral ad setup, JPEG 26KB

I have been showing referral ads for third-party advertisers using this sort of Adsense ads, and I have to admit they have not been successful at all. Perhaps the conversion criteria of advertisers have never been met as they usually require the visitor to purchase products or signup for services. Thus, I prefer to show Google-related referrals, such as Adsense, AdWords, Google Pack, and Firefox plug Google Toolbar, because their conversion is more attractive and their target audience is more global.

Getting visitors to switch web browsers from Microsoft Internet Explorer to Mozilla Firefox is the most satisfying because I’ve been a strong advocate of Firefox. If you’re not on Firefox, you’re missing out on the superior page rendering and extensive functionalities of this open-source browser. Click on the link on the right to download Firefox!

Back to Adsense referrals, unless you have a blog topic related to helping publishers monetizing their sites, I’d recommend you avoid promoting such referrals at all. Google Pack is a good choice as the software pack is very useful for common Internet users.

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Made Three-Figure Income with Google Adsense

After a long time of waiting for my Google Adsense publisher earnings to accumulate, I’ve finally received my first payment from Google via Western Union Quick Cash method. The feeling of getting paid a three-figure for publishing online ads is satisfying and honorable. It’s not often that I get noticed by a billion-dollar company once in a while. :)

For most of us publishers residing in Asia where Western Union remittance is common, I’d recommend using Western Union Quick Cash to get paid easily. In your Google Adsense account, go to “My Account” -> “Account Settings” -> “Payment Details“, select “Setup Western Union Quick Cash” and follow the wizard.

If you have set for payment to be released (under “My Account” -> “Payment History“), your earnings will be sent to you by the end of the month after your account balance reaches your payment threshold (usually US$50). I saw that mine was issued on 24 December 2007, but I didn’t realize until I checked the page a week later. Somehow, Google Adsense did not notify me by e-mail, which I expected.

You will be able to see the payment details in this page, such as the payment date, money transfer control number (MTCN), and payment amount. Print out a statement of these details by clicking on the link at the bottom “Statement of Earnings”. Go to your nearest Western Union branch with these details and a government/state issued identity document. Fill up the Western Union Money Transfer “To receive money” form, where you will need to use the printed statement for the sender (Google) details such as its address and MTCN.

Google Adsense Western Union Quick Cash earnings payment, 42K JPEG

Here is the form from CIMB Bank Malaysia which has Western Union services in most, if not all, branches. CIMB is, like most other banks in Malaysia, horrendously slow. I had to wait more than an hour with four customers ahead of me.

Western Union and the bank takes a cut of about 0.9%, according to the prevailing US currency exchange rate. They pay cash in local currency.

Some of you may ask, what are my tips for making money using Google Adsense. I’ll share three tips here.

  1. Build a good source of content that is fresh, relevant, and pleasantly-presented. Remember that ads are meant to help lead visitors to useful products and services which will make the experience of going to your site more valuable.
  2. Optimize the context and placement of the ads (e.g. using “google_ad_section” tags), check out Google Adsense Help for more information on how. Large rectangles, vertical banners and link units are the best, YMMV.
  3. Make use of channels to help monitor the performance of different types of ads (according to site, format, placement, etc.) so that you can take action as per tip #2.

I’ve yet to see my earnings payment from Nuffnang Malaysia, but meanwhile if you have a good experience with Google Adsense or more tips on using Google Adsense, share them here by adding a comment.

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Google Adsense Rotating Leaderboard Ads

Google Adsense has started putting rotating text ads for the 728×90 leaderboard format. For visitors, they will see two small arrow buttons on the bottom left of the ad space, as shown below. This was captured from my Malaysia Crime Watch Forum site.

[Google Adsense Ad Screenshot 1, 14KB]
Clicking on the right arrow button causes the current ads to slide and fade off to the right, and a new set of ads appear in their place. Note the mouse icon on the next screenshot.

[Google Adsense Ad Screenshot 2, 15KB]
The feature allows visitors to browse five sets of ads, so on the fifth click, only the right arrow button can be clicked, as shown below.

[Google Adsense Ad Screenshot 3, 14KB]
The loading of the next set of ads is quite fast and unobtrusive. When a set has been loaded before, it is cached and loads faster subsequently. It is very convenient to use, but perhaps more can be done to attract visitors to the buttons. Maybe Google Adsense should allow us publishers to specify the onbutton and offbutton colors.

This new feature gives publishers’ sites more ad value as visitors get to see more ads without the site being cluttered up by numerous ad spaces. Perhaps the click value is less for the sets of ads other than the initially displayed one. Another suggestion for the Google Adsense team is to give publishers the option to automatically rotate the ads so that visitors can be easily attracted to the ad space.

I have also initiated my first payout instructions for Google Adsense and Nuffnang Malaysia yesterday. I’ll be sharing the exciting news on my revenue gained from these advertising platforms when I receive the money over the next few weeks.

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