AdSense Rolls Out Referrals 2.0

Beyond the text and image ads AdSense offers - the release of Referrals 2.0 now incorporates products that you can sell on your site. The product that had been in beta previously is now being launched globally - well I did see instances in French, German and Italian.

Like the text ads, the Referral product looks at the content on your page to determine a good product fit.

The press release issued today is below.

This past March, we launched a referrals beta to test the feature and
iron out some wrinkles. Now that we've finished our testing, we're
pleased to announce that referrals 2.0 will soon be available to all
AdSense publishers.While some of you may already be familiar with
referrals for Google products, this launch will greatly expand the
inventory and functionality of referrals for AdSense publishers. Below
we've highlighted a few of the key benefits of referrals 2.0:

- Expanded product inventory: While many of you have had success
referring one of our Google products, some of you weren't able to find
a product that fit the context of your site. Referrals 2.0 offers
products from thousands of AdWords advertisers, so you can find the
right ads for your sites.

- Category and keyword targeting: With thousands of products available,
it can be difficult to decide which ads will perform best on your site.
That's why we give you the option to refer products by category and
keyword. You can narrow down the types of ads you want to display and
let AdSense figure out which ones will perform best on your site.
Whether you want ads for a specific category, advertiser, or product,
referrals 2.0 will give you the control to decide.

- Ad unit optimization: It can be tricky picking the best ads for your
site, so we've included ad unit optimization for referrals. When you
create a new referral ad unit, simply select the Pick best performing
ads option. We'll then compare your selected ads to other relevant ads,
and serve the ads we expect to perform best on your site.

- Better targeting for pages with multiple themes: With standard
contextual targeting, ads may not match up directly with the text
around them if there are a number of themes on the page. With
referrals, you can select unique "keywords" for each ad unit to narrow
the targeting directly to the theme you want. Better targeting means
higher earnings for your site.

- Greater compensation for high-quality traffic: Since referrals are
paid on a cost-per-action (CPA) basis, your traffic matters. If the
traffic you send to advertisers is more likely to turn into a completed
sale or lead, you will earn more with referrals.

- Add your seal of approval: Unlike AdSense for content ads, our
program policies allow you to make specific references to referral ads
on your site. If you endorse the product that you are referring, feel
free to let your users know. By adding your personal review of the
products you refer, you can help your users make more informed choices.


To get started with referrals, click the AdSense Setup tab in your
account, then click Referrals. If you don't see referrals 2.0 right
away, please check back in a few days, as the feature will gradually
become available in all accounts over the next few weeks. Please also
keep in mind that for some languages, advertisers are just getting
started so ad inventory may be limited at this time. We encourage you
to check back frequently to see new offers.If you have any questions
about how to add a new referral unit to your site, be sure to check out
the updated referrals section of the Help Center.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.