IT Pro reports that Google is launching its own affiliate marketing network. Google is inviting a number of website owners to participate in this new 'cost per action' programme. Under this programme, websites that host ads from Google will be paid for any action the visitor makes.
The article says: "The search engine has invited a number of web site owners to take part in the pilot programme that will see site owners getting extra payments if their visitors take some kind of beneficial action on the advertisers' sites – such as buying a product or requesting further information.
The new 'cost per action' (CPA) programme is not a replacement for the existing AdSense system but is said to run in parallel with it as the Content Referral network. In addition, the website owners have a greater say in the kind of ads that appear on their site instead of blindly displaying whatever ads Google chooses to send them. Web owners will be able to choose from a selection and will have greater flexibility in promoting them such as putting text alongside the ad and recommending it – although simply saying 'click here' is not allowed. Along with incentivising website owners to encourage their visitors to respond to the advertiser, the new scheme will be less susceptible to click fraud."
Google has been testing CPA in beta since June.