Google’s ‘New’ PPA Advertising System?

Posted on 28. Mar, 2007 in Online Advertising

First off, PPA (Pay per action)  is not new and was not invented by Google.  Secondly, PPA is not advertising.  It IS in fact ‘Affiliate marketing’.  Just because someone makes up a new three letter domain for an existing product does not make them the inventor or even an innovator for that matter.  Affiliate marketing programs have been around for over 10 years.  Linkshare was one of the first in 1996 and Commission Junction is now the industry leader.  Early beta testers have said there are generally low paying offers currently in there and one told me that after only briefly looking at some of the offers went and used the old stand by, CJ.

While Michael Arrignton hits the nail on the head with pretty much all of his posts, his immediate praise of the new system and claiming that it will destroy CJ misses the mark slightly on this one.  TechCrunch.

“Like CPC ads, PPA advertising was not invented by Google. Search engine Snap has been selling ads this way”

Again, it is PPA advertising is just a fancy way of saying affiliate marketing and was invented by neither company.

“Affiliate marketing networks like Commission Junction and LinkShare are screwed.”

I have heard of so many Google products that were suppose to kill other apps.  Google video didn’t hurt YouTube much, oh wait, they knew they were beat so they bought them didn’t they?  And what about Google Answers?  They folded that product because they thought it would never fly, um, Yahoo Answers is doing OK.   And anyway, I agree with Mike Allen that there is lots of room for everyone in this space.

My main issue with the ‘new’ PPA system is that it opens a whole new world for the spammers.  The only marketers that are jumping up and down about this announcement are the Viagra boys.  Just think about it for a minute.  All those annoying ads you love to hate.  Smiley faces, wallpaper, fake Rolex’s, screen savers etc.  Until now those spam marketers were pretty much limited to buying email lists and cheap remnant banner inventory at the lowest possible CPM they could find from ad networks.  But now, now they will have unlimited ad budgets.  They choose to only pay if someone fills in that form for a free ipod or if someone downloads the adware laden toolbar.  These guys will have an absolute field day setting up hundreds of different PPA ‘Ad’ campaigns with different actions required all at ZERO initial upfront costs.  They pay nothing if you don’t fall for the trap.  One of the reasons that Commission junction doesn’t have these types in their system is because of the relatively moderate set-up costs.  It’s not free to become an affiliate with most programs, and marketers are not going to bother to promote your product unless they get paid something significant.  Google will leverage the power of their existing publisher network.  MILLIONS of them.  And get them to spam the crap out of every reader.   I warned you here first…