Did Google change the AdSense referral payout structure?
I'm a bit confused: I'm seeing a different set of numbers for the referrals I've sent to Google for people who want to sign up for their AdSense program. I've never seen a $5 payout before, I thought that it was a flat $100 when they earned $100 on AdSense (not that I've ever seen any of those payouts!) What's up?
You're right that as of February 1, 2007, it appears that Google has changed the terms of its payout for AdSense [and AdWords] referrals from people in the AdSense program itself. As you say, it used to be a $100 payout when someone you referred earned $100 in AdSense revenue, and I recall that they only had six months to do so, though that shouldn't be too hard, earning $17/month...
Now, however, the payout is a bit nicer: you get $5 when they reach $5 in AdSense earnings (which should be pretty easy for just about anyone who joins the program) and an additional $250 when they reach $100 in earnings. Nice indeed!
However, before we get too excited, I'll note that while I have had a good number of signups in the last 30 days, I haven't seen a nickel from any of 'em:
You would think that at least one of these 34 signups would have cracked that $5 barrier, so I'm not sure what to say about this. If I back up a bit further, let's see what things look like...
You can see that the November-December data has lots and lots of signups (mostly from my quite popular page Get Started with Google AdSense) but only one payout, for $100. Probably that's just reflecting that Google didn't go back and grandfather in the changed terms, but still, 46 signups and 30-60 days to get AdSense running, you can see where a $5/user payout for that minimum earnings level coupled with a $250 payout for that first $100 would have produced a significantly richer reward for me as the referrer.
Or maybe this is all just a pipedream of bloggers, this change in terms. When you look to the Google AdSense referrals help page, you'll find that it still says "AdSense: When a user you've referred to AdSense first earns US$100 within 180 days, we'll credit your AdSense account with US$100."
No definitive word from Google on its AdSense blog or help system, however, so perhaps we're in a holding pattern? I will note that it's fairly widely reported that they've changed this payout system, including articles by Darren Rowse and Stefan Juhl.
Stay tuned on this one, I'll update the article once there's an official notification from our friends at Google, and in the meantime, if you haven't yet signed up for AdSense, I will encourage you to do so: it can be a nice supplemental income from your blogging efforts and Web site, wherever it's hosted. Start here: Get started earning money with Google AdSense.
Update: 2 Feb, 8pm -- Google just posted a note to their AdSense blog about new pricing structure for referrals, and, by coincidence, I noticed today that when I look at my AdSense referral report for the last few days, I now see that I must be getting those little $5 payouts too:
Btw, one really cool thing too: "If, in any 180-day period, you refer 25 publishers who each earn more than $100 within 180 days of their respective sign-ups and are all eligible for payout, you will be awarded a $2,000 bonus (bonus payouts are limited to 1 per year)." Let's see if anyone gets that, $2000 isn't a bad bonus for helping others get going with AdSense, I'd say!
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