For many internet marketers, AdSense is king of revenues. From small webmasters bringing in a few bucks a day to industry giants earning six figures a month with Google AdSense, the targeted advertising program is a standard addition to almost any website. Of course, ads on your site aren’t the only way to make money with a program like AdSense – many webmasters make money through the referral program offered by Google. Or, at least they used to make money that way – now they make not make anything at all.
Changes in AdSense Referrals
In the past, the referral system was set up so that you earned money after a certain time period for anything made by your referrals. If they earned $2, you earned $2. If you referred someone and they made more than $100, you earned a lump sum of $250. If you really did your marketing and referred twenty-five people who make $100 in 180 days, you earned a bonus of $2000. There was some serious money to be made through referrals, but those days are over now.
AdSense has made two major changes to the referral system:
• In the North America, Latin America and Japan you now only get $100 if your referral earns $100. If he earns $99, you get nothing. The loss of revenue stings more than a bit for those who enjoyed the large payouts for referrals. But that sting is nothing compared to the knock-out blow delivered elsewhere.
• In every country except North America, Latin America and Japan, you no longer have any referral system at all.
The AdSense Backlash
As much as AdSense supporters in Europe and Asia would love to boycott AdSense or send fiery complaint letters, neither tactic will have much response. The Google gods have spoken and referrals are no more. You can, of course, try a boycott, but it’s a waste. Not only will you loose the remaining commission you’re earning, you’ll also be making a pretty poor statement, You’d be boycotting a program that no longer cares about your referrals. They won’t especially mind if you stop sending them since they apparently had no value to begin with.
Many bloggers and internet marketing leaders are trying to rationalize or at least understand the change, but to date not much has been said about the scenario or the basis behind the decision. The only statement that was released regarding the termination of the program was a comment that the programs hadn’t been as successful in “these region” as they had hoped.
This latest change along with paid link penalties and other Google idiosyncrasies are certainly keeping webmasters on their toes. Page rank took forever and then was disappointing. Penalties are springing up constantly but without explanation or something even rationale. Google has always been a free spirit, but this latest round of injuries may just convince foreign webmasters to take their business elsewhere.