Adsense Referral program limitation implications

By | January 13, 2008

Google Adsense is probably the most widely used affiliate program on the Web for the past several years, and you don’t even need a website or hosting to set it up. The simplicity of Adsense has been its appeal all this while, but can too much of a good thing be bad?

A few days ago, Google announced that they would stop the Adsense Referral program for webmasters from outside the North America, Latin America, and Japan. Darren Rowse had some strong views on this, but you really can’t fault him. A similar view here. Not only have they changed the payment scheme, but they have excluded referrers from outside certain geographic locations. So it’s really not where your traffic is from, its where you are – your physical location.

If I were to give my view on this, I’d say it’s a sign that Google is limiting the Adsense program for the first time in its history, and there could be more “news” to come in 2008. It’s not so much the reasoning, it’s more because they really don’t want any more new publishers!

By limiting the referrals to certain geographic locations, they hope to start reducing the rate of new signups per day. I think the allowed regions they specify are just a formality. They are just trying to say they want to start reducing the number of publishers they have. Whether this will significantly reduce the rate of new signups or not, I do believe more changes could happen in 2008, along similar lines.

Many people have already noticed Google dragging their feet when it comes to approving new applications; it used to take a few days, now it may take weeks, or even never. The glut of publishers is taking its toll. So what does this all mean? Time to actually start giving the other ad networks a decent chance. Here’s but three; there are in fact a few dozen decent ones.

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