Google has begun rolling out its pay-per-action (PPA) beta test. Don’t let the words “beta” or “test” fool you, though, this is an event.
The program will work similar to Google’s AdSense pay-per-click (PPC) model for publishers allowing them the option to include PPA ads on their sites.
There’s a little more to it for advertisers. Campaigns can now specify an action (i.e.: completed credit card application, product inquiry submission, book purchase, etc.) to pay out on – with the pay-out rate, of course, being higher than that of a click.
This is a win for advertisers who can now pay for conversions rather than blind leads. Concerns of click fraud also drop dramatically with cost per action (CPA) campaigns. Manipulating clicks is one thing, manipulating an app completion is something else entirely.
I’m not sure what it means yet for publishers. There are more factors outside of your control when the pay-out comes several steps after the hand off. The text link ad format is interesting though. A linked word or phrase (i.e.: apply now) can be inserted wherever the publisher sees fit. That’s significantly more control than AdSense previously allowed.
No big secret is being revealed by the announcement – word of Google’s advance into PPA territory slipped out last summer and has been expected as a logical evolution of their model regardless. But I’m sure it’s causing a stir among the affiliate networks today.
This is where I’d compare Google to Genghis Khan, but I don’t think that’s giving Google enough credit.