Problems & Solutions for Google Referral Ads

Aug 13, 2007 • 7:57 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdSense

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the problems publishers are having with Google's referral ads.

Due to those discussions, AdSenseAdvisor started a thread over at WebmasterWorld providing some feedback and solutions to some of the problems.

While some problems are technical bugs, there are others that can be resolved by understanding how Referrals works.

When you pick a specific referral ad, and not a generic category, you are setting yourself up to displaying an empty ad spot. Why? Because if the advertiser runs out of money in his or her budget, Google won't show the ad. What can you do? Google suggests you "check the 'Pick best performing ads' box when generating your referral code." This will rotate different ads from that category, and if one ad is not running, it will replace it with a new ad.

There is a bug with some of these selections, AdSenseAdvisor explains:

However, if you select an ad unit size that is only available for Google product referrals and check 'Pick best performing ads,' there's currently a system error that will cause no ad to be displayed. Our engineers are working to fix this as quickly as possible, but in the meantime, if you'd like to refer users to these Google products, please uncheck the 'best performing ads' box when generating code for that referral ad unit.

AdSenseAdvisor stresses that Google is working hard to work through those kinks in the system.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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08/14/2007 01:05 pm

Thanks for the post. I picked it up thru Search Engine Land's Search cap. I have had a lot of trouble with google referrals, to the point where I gave up. I will check the links you provided and maybe try once more. Thanks again !


08/15/2007 03:38 am

I am having so much trouble with referral not showing the ad I want placed on my site. Even popular ads that are sure to have a budget for their ads are not showing up. Instead my referrals act like a normal google ad showing anything. And I mean anything even if it isnt relevant to the content of my page at all. I've taken the normal steps of un-checking the "Pick best performing ads" checkbox and choosing the right size for my ad and using the competitive ad filter to remove those unwanted ads. I've even tried targeting. And still I dont get any of the ads I pick. Even if I pick just one ad it will never display. I've checked the other forums and it seems that the majority of users have this or similar problems. Is it that hard for Google to show one ad???

Chris Coyier

08/25/2007 04:58 pm

Yeah, I'm having trouble with Google's own product referral ads not showing up sometimes, and I'm well below the maximum limit (just the one referral, 1 ad unit, 1 link unit). It's really hard to plan/design around if we can't rely on the ad actually showing up.


06/25/2008 04:42 pm

My blog is not earning through referral ads.though there are many impressions but no earning.Need help........

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