The search engine juggernaut that is Google has reaped amazing returns not only for its lucky stockholders who got in early and cashed out at $400, but also for untold thousands of online merchants ranked high on its search engine and those successfully using the sponsored AdWords program. One profitable area of the Google machine that doesn't receive nearly as much attention is its AdSense program.
Simply put, the AdSense program allows Web site publishers to feature dynamically generated text and banner ads on a Web site. The publisher then earns income each time a visitor clicks on a link or banner. It's easy pay-per-click income.
Some sites — like plentyoffish.com, a free online dating site — claim to earn millions of dollars per year by simply using AdSense ads. Others are content with just a few extra bucks a day.
While most Web surfers have no doubt seen countless sites with the usual Google-sponsored text ads, they are likely seeing more of a new program Google launched in November. The "Referrals" program — aimed at promoting the Firefox Web browser with integrated Google search toolbar or its AdSense program — now ups the ante for affiliates.
With a banner or button graphic ad, publishers can earn $1 every time a site visitor clicks on that link and installs Firefox on a PC. Publishers can choose among 18 different graphics, ranging from 480x60 pixels to 110x32 pixels, with promotions such as "Get Firefox with Google Toolbar for better browsing," "Browse the Web Faster. Get Firefox with Google Toolbar." It's a great way to promote an alternative, fast and arguably more secure browser while earning money.
"A Firefox referral is counted when a Windows user, who has not previously installed Firefox, downloads and runs the program for the first time," says Google on its Referrals FAQ page.The second part of the new Referral program on AdSense has the potential to pay off mightily for aggressive affiliates. Using the same graphic scheme as the Firefox promotion, publishers entice visitors to sign up for Google's AdSense program. If that person is successful using the Adsense program — and earns up to $100 — publishers are also credited $100 for that sign up. Not bad.
The only caveat is that your referral must earn that $100 within 180 days of signing up. (Google upped this limit retroactively on March 1 to 180 days after many publishers complained that the original 90-day window was too short.)
AdSense referrals, according to Google, are also only valid for users in the following countries: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
To keep tabs on Google's AdSense programs, visit http://adsense.blogspot.com/.
Devin Comiskey is the Managing Editor of ECommerce-Guide.com.
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