Google has announced a new product: The custom made referral unit. What is it? How can you use it? And what are the pros and cons?
Right now you have the possibility of putting referral buttons on your site and earn money, if your guests join AdSense og AdWords for the first time, or install Firefox with Google-bar for the first time. Your chance of making anything from those units depends highly on the content of your site. You are not likely to gain much, if your site is about cooking for instance, or anything else that are not related to those existing referrals.
Google is now testing custom made referrals. You can choose a product that is related to your site, choose the looks of the button and start earning money, if your guests click through and complete an action, like a sign up or purchase. The payment will be higher than from the normal ads, since it is not enough for the guest just to click, but he has to take action too.
But what happens if an advertiser stops his program? Will you have to manually remove and change the referrals? If so, we'll be back in the old dark ages, where you constantly needed to spend time on rotating banners, taken old banners down, putting up new ones etc.
Google seems to have taken care of that by giving you the possibility to choose keywords, thus choosing the best referrals for your site all the time with no need to change them yourself, but will that do it?
For now the program is only open for a limited number of people. If you are interested, you can sign up from the AdSense referrals beta site. (Works only in USA.)