In an interesting move, Google has started offering cost-per-action advertising to selected website owners on the Adsense programme. In short it’s aimed at getting around the click fraud that is becoming increasingly worrying for Google – where advertisers only derive an income when the website visitor completes an action.

On the one hand this makes a lot of sense for Google because it may address a problem we all know is becoming more and more important.  The benefits of only paying for completed actions are obvious too, so on the other hand you have to ask whether Google are geared up to compete with the likes of ValueClick?

In the short term, probably not, but in the longer term one would probably back Google because of their ability to incrementally better their products and services, but more importantly because of their market reach.

The only down side to this that I can see is that whilst the idea is a great one, I’m not sure that the implementation of it will percolate as quickly as Google would like – if you’re going to be paying for an action completed on your site, how do you track someone who first hears about your brand though a Google advert on a blog, then completes the action a week / month / 6 months / 1 year later, using a different browser?  (Disclaimer: I’m not privy to all the details of how everything will work and be reported, so I may be slightly off bat here, but this is my immediate train of thought.)

Of course, if you’ve got your analytics down, then you should have systems in place to manage these issues, and so this kind of advertising could be more efficient and ultimately lead to better advertising ROI.

Anyone interested in this kind of advertising offering?  Any thoughts as to the successful implementation of this?