Is CPA marketing still viable on Google Adwords?

December has been an interesting month indeed in the affiliate marketing world. Mass account-bannings have seemed to be the norm, on a much larger scale than I recall hearing about before. And while some are pointing fingers at the truly scammy advertisers and scam products, the truth is that this latest sweep has hit people at all levels of adwords advertising, from the tiniest “little guy” to some big Goliaths. I know people who only ran a few Clickbank offers that got banned.

Personally I think Google has broader ambitions of shutting down affiliate marketing as a whole – but I’ll go into that more in the near future.

CPA marketing in particular has been taking a lot of heat as being responsible for this latest crackdown… and I don’t know if that’s completely undeserved. Let’s face it, an awful lot of CPA offers (but not all) are really sketchy at best.

But the fact is that you can go do a Google search right now and still find plenty of CPA offers coming up in the PPC listings. So obviously SOMEONE is still able to run these offers. Do they know something you don’t? That’s a very likely possibility… after all one of the biggest advantages in this industry is having specialized knowledge (and of course, then implementing that knowledge in the form of action).

So it’s definitely interesting timing then, that a couple of guys I mastermind with and am fortunate enough to call friends, are about to share some of this specialized knowledge with us all. You’ve probably heard of them already if you’re in the CPA game at all – Amish Shah and his partner Jay Styles.

Now I know not everyone is a huge fan of Amish and Jay – after all they are definitely “bad boys” of affiliate marketing, willing to do *almost* anything to make their business profitable. They are well known for saying things like “screw Google, they’re not the law” and opening up tons of Adwords accounts so that they can completely dominate markets. They’re known for mass-executing pretty much any profitable TOS-breaking trick you can think of.

But clearly whatever they’re doing works, because they’re still cranking away high volume CPA campaigns despite the most recent account shutdowns. I’m sure even they have felt at least SOME pain from the recent turn of events, but when your biggest problem is that your average daily revenue dropped from $20,000 to $15,000, then that’s a pretty “high quality problem” in my book.

So where is all this going? Amish has always dabbled a little bit in the “IM” world with the release of well known products like the original Google Goggles, his “The New PPC” educational video series (still on Youtube and filled with good info), the Hexatrack family of software products, and of course for this year’s Magic Bullet Seminar which was pretty phenomenal.

He’s now setting out to reveal exactly how his business is still cranking out over $14,000 per day average, in gross CPA commissions even after all the recent google slaps. I’m sure some of it is going to have to do with other traffic sources, media buys, that sort of thing. But he insists that they’re still going strong with Adwords too, and are going to give away an entire campaign – keywords, landing pages & all – so that you can see exactly how they’re doing it.

Like I mentioned already, Amish & Jay’s style (no pun intended 😉 ) isn’t for everyone… but if you’re someone who’s willing to bend rules occasionally and care more about profitability than “being nice”, then this stuff is probably right for you. If nothing else I’m sure the free content they’re providing will give you some solid ideas and maybe even an “aha” moment or two.

So check it out and jump on any nuggets you come away with… as with most of the information out there, it’s likely that most people won’t act on it so those who do stand to profit the most!


6 thoughts on “Is CPA marketing still viable on Google Adwords?

  1. True… but a struggle with implementation is one thing – struggle implies effort implies learning and eventually tends to lead to success. It’s the *failure* to implement at all, that I see all too often.

    Then again I’m guilty of it as well… I have plenty of ebooks and DVDs that I bought that have excellent info on them, that I haven’t implemented. Sometimes it’s out of laziness, sometimes the information is too convoluted, and sometimes it’s just that “it can’t be that easy!” I’m sure all of us could benefit from more execution in general.


  2. What would be Google’s rationale for crippling affiliate marketing altogether? It’s advertising, which is not exactly a new concept. If they don’t like it maybe folks need to support another SE.

  3. Well, Google’s kinda weird in that they often (but NOT always I’m convinced) value “user experience” over revenue. And on one hand, it makes sense… consider this:

    Google knows where their money comes from, and in actuality it’s NOT from advertisers. We’d all like to think so, but iit actually comes from their VISITORS. Since PPC only pays when someone clicks, without visitors Google makes no money.

    Now if the average user experience for someone clicking on an Adwords ad becomes one of being scammed, aggressively advertised to, or otherwise something unpleasant, then users will learn to never click on those ads, and to inherently distrust them (which many already do).

    If this becomes too widespread of a phenomenon, then Google will make no money no matter how many advertisers they have willing to pay them.

    So Google knows what hands feeds it, no doubt about it.

    The problem is that Google’s desire for a great user experience is directly opposed to what most marketers (ESPECIALLY AFFILIATES!) need to do. We optimize for conversion, NOT experience. If something ugly is what works, we do ugly. If something awkward is what works, we do awkward. Affiliates are more direct about this than anyone because we aren’t just siting with our company’s ad budget and spending it. We have to make money immediately from our clicks or we can’t keep paying for them.

    It’s my opinion that what Google really wants in a perfect world, is tons of high-paying image advertisers who care about branding and eyeballs but not immediate conversion revenue. This way all adwords ads can be a great experience, informative, educational, entertaining, etc. and never leave anyone with a bad taste in their mouth. Everyone is happy, and Google makes tons of money without the FTC breathing down their neck.

    This is why I believe that ideally Google would like to see affiliate marketing go away. We affiliates are inherently positioned in contrast to their goals for their users, and so will always be at odds with one another.

    Now this doesn’t mean that I think Google will ever succeed at killing affiliate marketing completely, short of an outright ban on the practice. But they can certainly make it so painful that affiliates just say “to hell with it” and go elsewhere. Many of us have already done so and many more are starting to. But affiliates must put a lot of cash in Google’s pockets ultimately, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they see a dip in revenue and decide to swing back the other direction in the future, and encourage affiliates again.

    That’s the thing about public companies, at the end of it all they MUST honor the bottom line, or the shareholders will speak by dumping the stock and the company gets crushed – even one as big as Google.


  4. Is CPA marketing still viable on Google Adwords?

    I am not sure that is the correct title or if it should be affiliate marketing, all l know is that google have ensured that you really have to be on your game these days and seem to have different rules for different parts of their programes.

    All l can say is that you can still make a lot of money if you use placement website position marketing but as per usual google like to hide that part of adwords so they can take money off the newbies. regards nicho

  5. True Nicho, I still know plenty of people who are for the time being anyway, making money with CPA offers on Adwords. But it seems like anything they’re doing to get the offers to run, is just delaying the inevitable. I don’t think it’s really a long term strategy to focus on CPA offers unless you don’t mind effectively rebuilding your entire business every few months. I suppose if CPA offers are just extra income for someone because they have a site that gets tons of clicks and serves some function other than generating commissions, then the offers will probably still fly in Google’s eyes, but you’ll likely pay more for the traffic if your site isn’t specifically tailored to the keywords you’re using to draw in the traffic.

    And ultimately that’s better for Google anyway… advertisers pay more for the traffic, and the users have a better experience. Everyone wins, except the advertisers.

    I still think that in the long run, Google just plain doesn’t like affiliates as they believe that they just plain don’t add any value to the process. And I think in the majority of cases, they’re right. We don’t primarily want to “add value” we want to make money. It’s all about priorities.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *