Watch out YPN and MSN, AdSense has a trick up its sleeve

November 5, 2005

googlerefI saw on Slashdot that AdSense added a new type of revshare today: Referrals. (Don’t worry, these graphics aren’t actual ads) Slashdot talked about how they are paying publishers $1 for every Firefox + Google Toolbar download. I wonder how much each Firefox + Google Toolbar user is worth to Google (I’d have to assume it’s something > $1). Along with the Firefox referral, they’ve also launched a system where you can get paid out if you refer another publisher to AdSense (if you refer someone to AdSense, you get a $100 bonus after they make their first $100). Sounds like it might be non-trivial to get paid in that program, but hey, for $100 a pop, I’d try it πŸ™‚
So what does this mean for YPN and MSN? Well, from what I can tell from the ToS, Google counts each of these things as an Ad Unit and you can’t run any competing ads so if you want to get in on the $1 / Firefox user deal, you can’t be showing YPN or MSN contextual ads. Smells slightly anti-competitive, but I’m not a legal expert.

I think this is a brilliant move, and unless YPN can match (or exceed) $1 / Y! Toolbar user, they might be in trouble. Then again, maybe this stuff won’t take at all and contextual ads will continue to be the main revenue driver; I guess we’ll find out.

From Microsoft’s perspective, this has got to be an interesting move on Google’s part. Basically, they are now paying people to encourage users to switch away from IE (from my reading of the ToS, you can readily recommend Firefox/AdSense, as long as you don’t draw undue attention to the referral links). Does this one-up the “use IE because it’s included with your OS” strategy?

Next step… Google paying users to browse using Firefox + Google toolbar? Maybe we’ll be partying like it’s 1999 with those “get paid to browse” outfits that got scammed; then again, Google can solve that problem, just like they’ve solved the click spam problem right? ohhhh snap! πŸ˜›

Hmm… did people already talk about this and did I miss it in my aggregator? Or where is everyone on this?


7 Responses to “Watch out YPN and MSN, AdSense has a trick up its sleeve”

  1. rose Says:

    so you were actually blogging…
    i see i’m not interesting to chat with.

  2. Allen Says:

    I don’t think the Firefox is necessarily targeted to prevent YPN or AdCenter, but rather paying people to use it over IE.

    Whether it works or not, I doubt it. The incentive is to the site owner to push it, not the end user for using it. Most people aren’t tech savvy and won’t be installing software they already have and have become familiar with. Those who want Firefox already have it, those who don’t probably don’t need it. IE is bundled, it’s too convenient.

    As for the Adsense $100 referral program, I was quite disappointed hearing it. Other ad networks pay referrals based on a percentage of the rev for a lifetime. On top of it, $100 is only paid when someone makes at least $100, which is rare based on the number of sign ups.

    My feeling is it’s going to have a minimul impact. From a publisher’s standpoint, referrals aren’t worth my time. The only people who are going to benefit are websites which compare ad programs, and that’s rare.

  3. Adam Says:

    Hey Rose… your (ongoing) comments with Mark in this blog remind me of a related geek relationship.

    There was once this guy named Frank, a total computer geek who somehow had a totally smokin’ girlfriend. But, alas, he never paid much attention to her, always preferring to bask in the glow of his monitor.

    So one day his, ahem, frustrated girlfriend totally stripped naked and shimmied next to her blog-engrossed boyfriend, shouting “Super sex, super sex, SUPER SEX!!!!!!!!!”

    Still staring at his monitor after trying to ignore her for a few moments, Frank replied, quite exasperated, “Okay, okay, fine, I’ll have the soup!”


  4. Google Incetivizes Bloggers to Push Firefox

    Some of you have noticed that I recently started running Adsense ads on my blog. In about six weeks I have earned a grand total of about oh, $20. Once I hit a $100 I will get a check from

  5. I like the way Adsense works. It definitely improve the quality of ads on internet. Also, it decreased the annoyance of ads.

  6. It’s good that Google is promoting Firefox and it is very likely to bring FF into real contention with IE for the dominant browser!

  7. Keshavaya Says:

    Keep working ,great job!

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