“Referral Ads by Google” Links on Google Adsense Ads

I spotted several strange Google Adsense ads on various websites where the Ads by Google logo (to which they switched recently) was replaced by “Referral Ads by Google“. I quickly managed to grab some screenshots using my favorite screen capture tool

Google Adsense Referral Link 1

Google Adsense Referral Link 2

Clicking on it redirects you to the same page where the “Ads by Google” leads you – to sign up for Google Adwords or Google Adsense or send feedback on the ads you just saw. I thought these links might lead to promoting the recently launched Google Referrals 2.0 with expanded product inventory (I still love the $250 bonus!).

More strange Adsense ads spotted previously are favicons, checkout icons, google logos, no titles, titles in italics and no Ads by Google. Check them out.

Correction Update: Thanks for the comments which point out that these are actually Google referral ads and not regular Google Adsense units. Since I have not been actually using the new Google referral 2.0 ad units in such formats, I was unaware of the resemblance. The final word is that these are not strange or testing units, but Google referral units (which pay on action basis), but so closely resemble the Adsense text link ad units (which pay on a per click basis).


  1. BlogsAndBucks says:

    Those are not strange ads, they are part of Google Google Referrals 2.0. I am not sure if Google is allowing all countries or all Adsense clients to participate in this program but I know all US and Canadian clients are allow to use this feature.

  2. kanak says:

    Hey these are really referrel adds service on google. I got a message from google , saying that my account is upgraded to include referrals 2.0. And moreover there are more than 20 categories to choose. The thing is for these adds color customization is not possible as of now , hence they display in dark blue color and it will always show “referral adds by google”. :)

  3. QuickOnlineTips says:

    Thanks for letting me know that these are the new Google Referral units. I have never used these units so was surprised to spot some new variations. I have updated this post with a correction note. I apologise for my ignorance on this.

  4. Thomas says:

    Google invites Adsense publisher to try the new Referral 2.0. It’s in a sense a CPA system, so you get paid for action and not for click. So, if someone clicks on the new referral ads, you don’t get paid, but if the visitor acts on the target site (fill in form, leaves email etc) then you get paid…and this can something $50 for on action for high paying CPA’s…
    I have just installed these on my site…

  5. rahul says:

    i want to know wether google is allowing all its publishers to participate in this programme?? pls reply rahul

  6. Gyanendra Bhattarai says:

    I like it. It is a good way to earn money.you can also earn money from this.

  7. Money Ideas says:

    So, this is the same as affiliate ads?

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