According to the SeekingAlpha site, Google is testing a CPA (cost per action) network – the kind of approach Bill Gross is trying at Snap, and many others, like Valueclick, have employed, with limited success so far. Why? Is Google hedging against click fraud and spam? Is this just spaghetti against the wall? I am asking now….so far, this is still officially unconfirmed.
The detail they have over at SeekingAlpha – from a note to one of the members inviting him into the test – is interesting in itself. Google is clearly changing the rules with CPA. For instance:
How can I promote the CPA ad unit?
Since this is a test and these CPA ads are not regular ad units, we are giving you more flexibility in saying things like “I recommend this product” or “Try JetBlue today” next to the CPA ad unit. However, you should still not incite someone to click on the ad, so saying “Click Here” is not ok.
What can I do to optimize my revenue from the CPA ads?
While we encourage you to experiment as much as possible with these ads on your site, here are some general tips on implementing a CPA ad:
1) Ads that blend in with the site and are placed prominently tend to perform better. Look to integrate the ad within the page.
The poster, David Jackson, immediately shorted Valueclick. However, the stock is up this morning, so far.
Update from Google spokesman, who confirmed CPA tests: We’re always looking for new ways to provide effective and useful features to advertisers, publishers, and users. As part of these efforts we are currently testing a cost per action pricing model to give advertisers more flexibility and provide publishers another way to earn revenue through AdSense. We’re pleased with how the test is progressing and will continue to gather feedback from advertisers and publishers.