Google Adsense Changes Referral Fee Structure- Is it Racism or Smart Business Model?

Google announced it is changing the way they will pay out referral fees to its publishers. The new Google Adsense referral fee pricing can be found here.

The hardest hit are overseas users who are no longer eligible for the program. reactions have been fast and furious. The change causing most of the anger is Google’s decision to drop whole counties from the program -allowing only North American, Latin American and Japanese publishers to participate and excluding everyone else. writes a particularly pissed off post.

Blogmeister’s Jeremy Schoemaker of and Darren Rowse at express their own disappointment and dismay at the exclusionary move.

Andy Beard once again steps up to the plate with a well thought out post and explains why this makes sense to Google and how they are closing gaps in the system that allows for potential fraud in his post, Google Adsense Referral Hydra Had To Be Clobbered and reasons that Google made the changes as part of a well thought out business plan.
This may be the truth- but poor communication on Google end has lead to a perception problem.

The the lack of explanation other than a cursory

‘We’ve found that this referral product has not performed as well as we had hoped in these regions’

may be perceived as racism.

When you implement policy based on on group of people being less desirable or implying dishonesty because of the Country they live in you are teetering on a very slippery slope.
They would be wise to publish some pretty heavy data to further explain their rationale. Google needs to make public evidence based reasons for pulling the plug on Bloggers in Europe, India, Australia, etc or the will be facing some real backlash. Not the kind of backlash from mommy bloggers who got their page rank dropped.

The have entered into a PR quagmire and better start doing some heavy spinning.

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            One Response to “Google Adsense Changes Referral Fee Structure- Is it Racism or Smart Business Model?”

            1. I think some of what Andy alluded to in his article may well be true in terms of the potential for fraudulent use by certain countries but it does seem pretty heavy handed to put into place a blanket ban.

              Yeah, I was pretty pissed off when I wrote my post. As a UK publisher I do see it as being a slap in the face having promoted the product for the last couple of years. Whilst I didn’t make buckets of cash, I did pick up a few dollars so I’m not overly impressed with what they’ve done.

              Then again, I’ve not been overly impressed with the way Google operate for some time so no changes there…

              Thanks for the link, by the way. Much appreciated.

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