“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).