Google has ditched its Adsense referral scheme outside the Americas and Japan in a move that has not gone down well with some of its publishing partners.

The programme, which rewards sites that introduce new users to Adsense, will be “retired” in the last week of January, according to a post on the service’s blog. 

So what does this tell us...?

Well, it suggests that Adsense is nearing market saturation, at least among publishers that are large enough to generate fees for sites that refer them. Smaller publishers, the veritable Long Tail, might not be worth the referral fees Google has been paying out.

The Google announcement offers little in the way of explanation, except to say the scheme had “not performed as well” as Google had hoped. It also doesn't include regional referral data in its financial results.

Google said users would still be able to earn cash by encouraging sign-ups to other Adsense-related products.

Nevertheless, there seem to be some unhappy publishers out there, judging by responses to the news on the Adsense blog and other news sites.

All that aside, we still can't believe that Yahoo hasn't launched its Publisher Network here in the UK, more than two years after rolling it out in the US. Adsense generates vast revenues for Google, and publishers would love more competition in this area, but the folks at Yahoo don't seem to recognise a no-brainer when they see one. 

Related research: Online Ad Networks Buyer's Guide


Published 9 January, 2008 by Richard Maven

529 more posts from this author

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Comments (3)



Adsense Referrals didnt perform well anyway. At least on my site
This is yet another reason to look for other Programs beside Adsense.
Unforunally thats not possible for my kind of website. Wanne see why?
Check it out:

over 10 years ago



Adsense - God, please don't get me started. It's mostly used by site owners that can't make money off their sites own back, and resort to affiliate programs to meet running costs. Running a website is hard work and not a 'game', it's a serious business, where reputations are at stake. If you can't do it properly, then don't do it at all, and this is why many fail.

As soon as I see anything adsense or affiliate - I click off that site. Why can't people do something good in this world........ and for the internet, which is much needed.

over 10 years ago


are you sure its for Japan and outside Americas?

so that means, if my visitors are Americans, I can still have this program?

what about Firefox? I hope that dont go....

about 10 years ago

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