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  2. / Affiliate Marketing With Google Ads In 2023: Does It Still Work Or Not?

Affiliate Marketing With Google Ads In 2023: Does It Still Work Or Not?

2 August 2023

Discover the power of Google Ads for affiliate marketing and traffic arbitrage. Learn how to leverage this ad network for high-quality traffic to affiliate offers in 2023. Backed by compelling case studies, our insights showcase the effectiveness of Google Ads.

In this article, we will analyze the elements of a Google Ads account, and the tools required to run ads, show you how to set up campaigns, and present several successful case studies.

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About advertising formats in Google Ads


Google Ads provides several formats that allow affiliate marketers to carryout ads arbitrage by send traffic to offers from various sites. Below, we are going to discuss more on each of the formats provided.


GDN is the cheapest source of traffic, but it is not highly favored by affiliates due to its poor quality compared to other formats. The Display Network consists of Google partner sites, and the owners of these sites receive rewards from the search engine company for user clicks on ads displayed on their resources.



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To create advertisements, an affiliate marketer uses a text format for creating titles and descriptions. They can also incorporate pictures and videos. An affiliate does not have control over how the text or visual format is displayed in the Display Network, nor can they target specific types of users. Instead, Google algorithms independently determine the type of content shown to users. This aspect of the Google ads format is disliked by many people. However, the affordability of this format allows for less expensive conversions due to the large volume of purchased traffic.


UAC traffic (Universal App Campaign) is more expensive compared to display networks, but it offers a higher conversion rate, especially when video creatives are used. In this ad format, Google's algorithms conduct tests on different audiences to identify targeted users and serve ads to them. The testing process spans a considerable amount of time and requires a large budget for the campaign. Unfortunately, UAC does not allow for precise audience targeting based on factors like gender, age, and other parameters.



The results of running two similar Google UAC ad arbitrage campaigns may vary. Each time you run an ad, the machine learning algorithm operates differently and targets different audiences. Another feature of this format is that the algorithm independently selects the most relevant creatives based on test results and displays them to the audience.


For example, when advertising a mobile application, if you don't include pictures and text, UAC will automatically get them from the mobile application itself and generates the images to display in the ad creatives. Therefore, there's no need to create specific ads in Google UAC. Simply add descriptions, titles, and media content, and let Google handle the rest.


Search provides the most relevant traffic for advertisements. When someone enters a search query like "English lessons," the top search results display an ad for English training courses. The probability that he will click on such an ad is very high since the user sees what he came to the search engine for.


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In search traffic advertising, selecting the right keywords is the most important thing to ensure that the ads reach the desired audience. Unlike Google display advertising, the cost of a targeted action in search is generally higher. The cost per click of a search ad depends on the competition within the niche of the product or service being promoted.



Affiliate marketing verticals in Google Ads  


Many CPA networks and advertisers are open to receiving traffic from Google Ads. However, not all offers can be directly promoted through this platform without encountering any issues.


  • Betting and gambling – Google allows advertisements only in countries where casinos and bookmakers operate legally. Moreover, these ads must adhere to Google's strict rules regarding such content. Generally, well-established brands are promoted following these guidelines, but lesser-known online casinos often appear in search results. The screenshot below displays the search results for a relevant query within the US geo.

  • Nutra products are banned on Google. Moderation will closely monitor advertisements that promote drugs and make promises about solving long-term health issues. They also won't allow ads for questionable drugs that claim to enhance potency, increase body parts, or provide other dubious benefits. If you want to launch Nutra offers, you'll need to create a legitimate website that adheres to ad moderation guidelines.

  • E-commerce products face no issues when advertising on Google. You can easily set up campaigns to sell clothing, furniture, and equipment and provide services. However, promoting products in the "Your Money or Your Life" (YMYL) category can be challenging. This category includes items like baby food and baby toys. In the financial sector, it covers offers from microcredit financial institutions (MFIs), insurance companies, and similar businesses.

  • Finance is rather expensive and highly competitive. Similar to gambling and betting, the advertised product must be legal in a specific geo, and the advertiser must obtain permission from a financial institution to promote it.


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  • Essay writing is a whitehat niche for Google. However, in some countries, some regulations prohibit services that aid students in completing their term papers and exams. In this niche, it is important to clearly define the target audience. If you fail to do so in your Google Ads campaign, you may incur higher costs per conversion. It is important to maintain a low cost per click.

  • Dating offers are conditionally allowed to be advertised on Google Ads. You can freely promote dating offers on authorized dating websites without encountering issues. It is impossible to use explicit adult ad creatives and texts, as well as to promote adult and other inappropriate sites under the disguise of dating;


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  • Mobile apps and games – You can promote mobile apps and games on Google, but it is difficult and expensive since this is a highly competitive niche.


For the rest of the affiliate marketing/ traffic arbitrage verticals, you need to ask the affiliate program if their offers are being promoted through Google Adsense. It also makes sense to work with Google Trends, Google Keywords, and spy tools to understand the level of competition in the niche and what methods can be used to advance.


When planning your Google Adsense campaign budget, it's important to allocate resources for tools such as accounts, anti-detect browsers, and proxies.



Google Adwords personal account



To begin working with Google Ads as an affiliate marketer, you'll need to create a new profile in an anti-detect browser. Then, open a new browser page and log in to the purchased account using one of Google's services. You can log in through YouTube, Google Drive, or Gmail. This will grant you access to your account.


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Next, you need to go to the Google Ads site, where you can create an ad account. To do this, click the "Start Now" button in the upper right corner of the screen that opens;






The platform will offer to create the first campaign. You need to select the option “Create an account without a campaign”;





After confirming the country information of the account and payment data, which Google automatically retrieves through a geo-proxy, the user accesses their personal Google AdWords account. They can now create advertisements and view statistics for their active advertising campaigns.




Filling out payment information


To begin promoting an advertising campaign as an affiliate marketer, you need to link a card to your account. To accomplish this, navigate to the "Settings" or "Payment" section and locate the subsection where you can enter your payment information.




Then scroll down the page and provide the payer's address. You can use a random address from a geo payment option. Next, manually enter the card number, expiration date, and CVV in their allocated fields. It is important to enter this information manually instead of copying and pasting it, as the payment processor may flag copied data as "suspicious activity," resulting in the payment not being processed.




Ideally, the card linked to the account should be issued by the bank in the country where the ad will be promoted. Otherwise, the chances of successfully linking the card and maintaining the account for a long time are greatly reduced. 


There is a commonly held belief among affiliate marketers that one account should be associated with one card. This rule applies mainly to newly issued cards that are immediately linked to an account. However, if a payment card has been in use for a while and has a good track record of trustworthiness – with services being paid for and small payments made, it can be linked to multiple accounts. In such cases, it's important to use the same username across all linked accounts.



Launch of a warm-up advertising campaign


Before starting your ads for the target offer, it's important to prepare your account. To begin, you should create an advertisement that promotes a legitimate business and launch ads with a small daily budget of $2-5. This strategy helps establish trust by ensuring that your ads pass through the moderation process smoothly.


During the 1-3 day warm-up campaign, you have the option to pause the campaign or simultaneously launch the target offer. Here are the step-by-step instructions for launching the warm-up advertising campaign:


First, open Google Ads and click on "Create a new campaign." In the window that appears, select "Do not specify a target."




Scroll down the page and select the "Smart" campaign type.




Next, you need to specify the name of the campaign. It is advisable to choose a niche of the product/service you are promoting.


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The next step is to choose a company to promote. To do this, you can use Google Maps to select a specific location where you want to promote your target offer. Look for offline businesses in that area, such as coffee shops, pizzerias, sports clubs, and more.




On the next page, add the link to the webpage/site you have chosen to promote.



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Next, you need to select the goal of the campaign. In a specific example, this is “Increase the number of calls,” but you can use any other goal of your choice.



On the next page, you must specify at least three titles and two descriptions for the ad. Most often, Google fills them out on its own, based on the data presented on the site being promoted. They can also be written by hand.




After filling in the titles and descriptions, you need to add keywords. You can choose them either from those offered by Google Ads or come up with your own. It is recommended not to choose more than 3-5 keywords.


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On the next page, you need to set the daily budget for the campaign.





The last step is to check all the data of the campaign and publish it.


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Typically, white hat campaigns are reviewed and approved within a few hours.


Once the advertisement generates $5-10 in revenue, you can initiate a campaign for the specific offer or mobile application. This process is similar to launching the warm-up campaign, but you must choose the relevant options in Google Ads based on your objective.


When setting up a targeted advertising campaign, it is important to consider certain details, which will be explained below.



Campaign budget


If you choose the minimum budget in the warm-up campaign as an affiliate marketer, you can expect the maximum possible spending from your target audience. However, it's important not to rush. Initially, it's recommended to set the budget between $25 and $50. If you set an excessively high daily budget, you may end up having your account banned. 


Once the campaign is approved, it should be gradually increased by 15-20% per day. By following this approach, it is more likely that your campaign will run smoothly for a longer duration and eventually achieve a high level of success.







Each affiliate marketer has their bidding approach. Depending on the goal of the campaign, you can choose a recommended price, a maximum bid, or set your own. Profitability and ROI depend on the rate, so you should approach its purpose carefully.






Depending on the offer and campaign objectives, you need to determine whether you want to promote the campaign to the entire country or specific locations. You can also choose the target audience (target value) and exclude those who are interested in the desired geo but are not physically located there.





The targeting options in this traffic source are not 100% effective. To reach your desired audience more accurately, you can consider using other advertising networks, such as MyBid, which provides various advertising formats. 





Keyword queries also allow you to target your desired audience. It's more effective to use broad matching, which ensures that impressions are generated for all queries containing the desired keywords. Another option is using phrase matching, where slightly modified words with similar meanings are used.


It's also important to carefully select negative keywords to prevent the campaign budget from being wasted on unnecessary keywords. The use of competitors' queries should also be approached with caution. On the one hand, they can be used to promote your offer to an audience that is already interested. On the other hand, competing with high-frequency queries can be challenging and may drain your budget without producing any positive results.




The best approach for starting Google Adsense arbitrage in 2023 as an affiliate marketer is to use mid-frequency keywords. It's also important to consider low-frequency queries and estimate the amount of traffic they can generate. Low-frequency requests are commonly known as "long-tail" requests. The advantage of these requests is that they address specific customer needs and if properly optimized, can result in highly converting traffic.


Regardless of the approach you choose for bidding, targeting, or selecting keywords, it's important to test it with a small budget. Google doesn't provide specific information or clear recommendations for optimal campaign settings. However, other ad networks are more supportive of affiliate marketers. Their managers guide you throughout the process of creating and launching advertisements, and they also assist in selecting the best rates. An example of such a network is MyBid.


Cases of Affiliate Marketing With Google Ads


Case Study: Weight loss with a profit of 179,000 rubles in 2 months


The affiliate manager recommended the affiliate test the Slimbiotic offer in Moldova. He analyzed the popularity of the product in Google Trends and decided to launch the campaigns with Google Ads. He gathered keywords for the ads from Google Planner, using queries in both Russian and Romanian.


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The number of clicks on this offer in Moldova was much lower compared to other countries, and the payout was similar to Russia – 650 rubles instead of 800 rubles.


All four campaigns were launched in Russian, but the affiliate planned to separate the campaigns into different segments later on. His landing page of the "Ministry of Health" angle performed the best among the rest.




Several other landing pages were tested, but most of the leads came from the one shown in the screenshot below.





Two out of the four advertising campaigns used popular and moderately popular keywords in the search. The remaining two campaigns focused on gathering traffic from display ads, but they had the highest cost per click.


Over two months, the affiliate spent 132,887 rubles on advertising, and the four campaigns generated slightly over 20,000 clicks. However, the cost per lead increased from an average of 2 rubles to 8 rubles, making the affiliate pause the campaigns. 


Despite this setback, the campaigns still managed to generate 480 leads, resulting in a revenue of 312,000 rubles. As a result, the return on investment (ROI) was 139%, and the profit amounted to nearly 180,000 rubles.


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If you want to see success with Google Adsense arbitrage in 2023, it's important to acquire high-quality accounts, either by renting them or by obtaining them from a reputable source. Additionally, you will need an anti-detect browser, as well as mobile or residential proxies, and you should learn how to cloak links. 


However, all of these requirements are unnecessary if you intend to generate traffic from MyBid. With MyBid, a personal manager will be available to assist affiliates in launching and managing their campaigns, offering guidance on selecting geos, creating good ad creatives, and providing other helpful solutions.

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