Google expands testing on new advertising technique

Google is expanding a test it began last year of pay-per-action ads, an ad format that is similar to pay-per-click ads but that experts say is much less prone to click fraud.

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Google is expanding a test it began last year of pay-per-action advertisements, a format that is similar to pay-per-click adverts but which experts say is much less prone to click fraud.

In the pay-per-action (PPA) model, advertisers pay whenever the click on the advertisement yields a specific result, such as when users purchase something or complete an online form.

Google has now opened up its PPA test to more advertisers and publishers and gave them more automated tools for things like designing campaigns and creating adverts, said Rob Kniaz, product manager for Google's advertising products.

The PPA adverts run only on the AdSense for Content network of partner sites for now, and are only available to US advertisers and publishers. Site publishers can select individual adverts, a set or adverts that are contextually related to their site's content.

Participation in the PPA test is by invitation only. Publishers and advertisers can request to be included by going to the programme's web page.

Unlike PPA ads, the pay-per-click (PPC) model calls for advertisers to pay whenever a user clicks on their advertisements. PPC adverts are vulnerable to click fraud, which occurs when someone clicks without any intent to do business with the advertiser. Reasons for engaging in click fraud include the desire of a site publisher to increase commission revenue or the attempt by an advertiser's competitor to drive up its ad spending.

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