Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Google pays Affiliates via AdSense

Google is now requiring clients of the Google Affiliate Network to link their account to a Google continues to consolidate its two web advertising systems: Goodle AdSense and the less well known Affiliate Network. Google is now requiring that Affiliate Network payments are made via an AdSense account.

Goodle AdSense and Affiliate Network both pay web publishers for putting ads on their web sites. AdSense pays per click on the ad, whereas Affiliate Network pays when the customer buys a product or registers interest. Google acquired Affiliate Network long after setting up AdSense and the two have had separate registration and payment systems.

I found this very confusing when I got the first notice asking me to link my Affiliate Network account to Goodle AdSense. When I went into my AdSense admin system I couldn't find anything about it. Then I got one saying I would receive no more Affiliate Network payments if I did not link the accounts, so I looked into it more. It turned out that I had to go to the Affiliate Network account and enter the AdSense details, not the other way around.

This should be an improvement for clients, as the AdSense payment system works well, allowing for electronic payment in Australian dollars to an Australia bank.

I have not found Affiliate Network that useful. Its advertisements are not as well targeted as those of AdSense and are therefore much more annoying. Affiliate Network was known as DoubleClick before being acquired by Google and had a controversial history. Also very few of the people who click on a Network ad actually end up buying a product and so payment is infrequent.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

GoogleAds Preferences

Google are adding "Ads Preferences" so that people can select the type of google ads they want to see on web pages. It will be interesting to see how well this is accepted.

Google AdSense previously was based on the idea that the ads displayed on a web site would be related to the topic of the page. This made sense: if you are looking at a web page about a rail journey in Australia, you may be interested in products and services related to rail travel in Australia.

With the ad preferences, Google will attempt to track what people are interested in and show ads for that. This the approach used by Amazon.com and others. The results can be a bit jarring, with ads completely unrelated to the topic of the web page they are on. Also there is the issue of privacy. Google have addressed these issues to some extent, by allowing people to set the topic they would like ads about, or to opt out of the personally targeted ads. However, with logic worthty of "Catch 22" it appears that Google will still attempt to set a Cookie on the web browser of the user's computer, so as to indicate that the user doesn't want personal information recorded.

I was going to paste here a list of the categories I selected for ads. But I ended up with the entire list of categories. This would therefore seem to reflect Google's view as to what products are of interest to the world:
* Animals
o Pets
+ Pet Food & Supplies
+ Exotic Pets
o Veterinarians
o Wildlife
* Arts & Humanities
o Books & Literature
+ Book Retailers
+ E-Books
+ Fan Fiction
+ Poetry
o Humanities
+ History
+ Myth & Folklore
o Theater & Performing Arts
o Visual Arts
* Automotive
o Auto Financing
o Auto Insurance
o Auto Parts
+ Vehicle Tires
o Car Shows
o Car Stereo
o Custom & Performance Vehicles
o Hybrid & Alternative Vehicles
o Motorcycles
o Off-Road & Recreational Vehicles
o Trucks & SUVs
o Vehicle Brands
+ Acura
+ Audi
+ Cadillac
+ Chevrolet
+ Chrysler
+ Citroen
+ Dodge
+ Fiat
+ Ford
+ Honda
+ Hyundai
+ Jeep
+ Kia
+ Lexus
+ Lincoln
+ Mazda
+ Mercedes-Benz
+ Mercury
+ Mitsubishi
+ Nissan
+ Peugeot
+ Pontiac
+ Porsche
+ Renault
+ Saturn
+ Subaru
+ Toyota
+ Volkswagen
+ Volvo
o Vehicle Licensing & Registration
o Vehicle Maintenance
o Vehicle Shopping
* Beauty & Personal Care
o Beauty Magazines
o Body Art
o Cosmetic Surgery
o Cosmetology & Beauty Professionals
o Face & Body Care
+ Cosmetics
+ Fragrances
+ Hair Removal
+ Hygiene & Toiletries
+ Skin & Nail Care
o Fitness
+ Bodybuilding
+ Yoga & Pilates
o Hair Care & Products
+ Hair Loss
o Spas & Beauty Services
+ Massage Therapy
o Weight Loss
* Business
o Advertising & Marketing
+ Marketing Services
+ Public Relations
+ Telemarketing
o Business Plans & Presentations
o Business Schools & Training
o Business Services & Consulting
+ Fire & Security Services
+ Knowledge Management
+ Outsourcing
+ Physical Asset Management
+ Quality Control & Tracking
o Corporate Events
+ Trade Shows & Conventions
o E-Commerce
+ Merchant Services & Payment Systems
o Human Resources
+ Compensation & Benefits
+ Corporate Training
+ Payroll Services
+ Recruitment & Staffing
o Management & Corporate Operations
+ Business Process
+ Strategic Planning
+ Supply Chain Management
o Office & Printing Services
+ Office & Facilities Management
+ Office Furniture
+ Office Supplies
+ Printing Services
+ Writing & Editing Services
o Small Business
+ Home Office
+ MLM & Business Opportunities
* Computers & Electronics
o Computer Security
+ Antivirus & Malware
+ Hacking & Cracking
+ Network Security
o Consumer Electronics
+ Audio Equipment
# MP3 Players
# Home Stereo
+ Home Video
# Video Players & Recorders
# Televisions
+ Personal Electronics
# Handhelds & PDAs
o Electronics & Electrical
+ Electromechanical Devices
+ Electronic Components
+ Optoelectronics & Fiber
+ Power Supplies
+ Test & Measurement
o Enterprise Technology
+ Data Management
o Hardware
+ Desktops
+ Hardware Components
# Chips & Processors
# Memory
# Sound & Video Cards
+ Laptops
+ Mods & Customization
+ Peripherals
# Input Devices
# Monitors
# Printers
# Scanners
+ Servers
+ Storage
# Network Storage
o Networking
+ Data Formats & Protocols
+ Network Monitoring & Management
+ Networking Equipment
o Programming
+ C & C++
+ Developer Jobs
+ Development Tools
+ Java
+ Scripting Languages
+ Windows & .NET
o Software
+ Audio & Multimedia
+ Business & Productivity
+ Device Drivers
+ Educational Software
+ Graphics & Publishing
# Fonts
+ Internet Software
# Internet Clients & Browsers
# Content Management
+ Open Source
+ Operating Systems
# Linux & Unix
# Mac
# Windows
+ Software Utilities
o Tech Support
* Entertainment
o Celebrities
o Clubs & Nightlife
o Comics & Animation
+ Anime & Manga
+ Cartoons
+ Comics
o Dancing
o Entertainment Industry
o Fashion & Modeling
o Fun & Trivia
o Movies
+ Bollywood & Lollywood
+ Horror Films
+ Movie Memorabilia
+ Movie Rentals & Sales
+ Science Fiction & Fantasy Films
o Multimedia Content
+ Flash Content
+ Podcasting
+ Video Clips & Movie Downloads
o Music
+ Alternative-Punk-Metal
+ Classical
+ Country & Folk
+ Dance & Electronica
+ Jazz & R&B
+ Latin
+ Lyrics & Tabs
+ Music Art & Memorabilia
+ Music Retailers
+ Music Streams & Downloads
+ Musical Instruments
+ Rock & Pop
+ Urban & Hip-Hop
+ Vocals & Show Tunes
+ World Music
o Radio
o TV
+ TV Programs
# Soap Operas
+ TV Networks
* Finance & Insurance
o Accounting & Tax
o Credit & Lending
+ Credit Cards
+ Debt Management
+ Student Lending
o Currencies & Foreign Exchange
o Insurance
+ Risk Management
o Investing
o Retirement & Pension
* Food & Drink
o Cooking & Recipes
o Cookware
o Culinary Training
o Food Retailers
o Nonalcoholic Beverages
o Restaurants
+ Restaurant Supply
* Games
o Video Games
+ Online Games
+ Cheats & Hints
* Home & Garden
o Domestic Services
o Gardening
o Home Appliances
o Home Furnishings
+ Lighting
o Home Improvement
o Homemaking & Interior Decor
o Pest Control
* Industries
o Aerospace & Defense
+ Space Technology
+ Defense Industry
o Agriculture & Forestry
+ Agricultural Equipment
+ Aquaculture
+ Crops & Seed
+ Food Production
+ Forestry
+ Horticulture
+ Livestock
o Chemicals
+ Agrochemicals
+ Cleaning Agents
+ Coatings & Adhesives
+ Dyes & Pigments
+ Plastics & Polymers
o Construction & Maintenance
+ Building Materials
# Doors & Windows
# Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning
# Nails Screws & Fasteners
# Plumbing Fixtures & Equipment
# Wood & Plastics
* Flooring
+ Civil Engineering
+ Construction Contractors
+ Property Development
+ Urban & Regional Planning
o Design
+ Architecture
+ Graphic Design & Publishing
+ Industrial & Product Design
+ Interior Design
o Energy & Utilities
+ Alternative Energy
+ Electricity
+ Oil & Gas
+ Waste Management
o Engineering Technology
o Industrial Materials & Equipment
+ Generators
+ Heavy Machinery
+ Valves Hoses & Fittings
o Manufacturing
+ Factory Automation
o Metals & Mining
o Pharmaceutical & Biotech
o Retail Trade
+ Retail Equipment & Technology
o Textiles & Paper
o Transportation & Logistics
+ Aviation
+ Couriers & Messengers
+ Distribution & Logistics
+ Freight & Trucking
+ Import & Export
+ Maritime Transport
+ Moving & Relocation
+ Packaging
+ Rail Transport
+ Urban Transport
* Internet
o File Sharing & Hosting
o Online Goodies
+ MySpace Codes & Graphics
+ Skins Themes & Screensavers
o Search Engine Optimization & Marketing
o Web Design & Development
o Web Hosting & Domain Registration
o Web Portals
o Web Services
+ Affiliate Programs
+ Email & Messaging
+ Search Engines
+ Web Stats & Analytics
* Lifestyles
o Activism & Social Issues
+ Environmental Issues
o Charitable & Non-profits
o Clubs & Organizations
o Holidays & Seasonal Events
o Parenting & Family
+ Baby Care
+ Child Care
+ Genealogy
+ Youth Camps
o Self-Help & Motivational
o Weddings
* Local
o Classifieds
o Event Listings
o Jobs
o Regional Content
+ Africa
+ Caribbean
+ Central & Eastern Europe
# Greece
+ Central & South Asia
# Afghanistan
# India
# Iran
# Pakistan
+ East Asia
# China
# Japan
# Korea
+ Mexico & Central America
# Mexico
# Costa Rica
+ Middle East
# Egypt
# Iraq
# Israel
# Lebanon
# Turkey
# United Arab Emirates
+ Oceania
# Australia
# New Zealand
# Pacific Islands
+ Polar Regions
+ Russia & Caucasus
+ South America
# Argentina
# Brazil
# Peru
+ Southeast Asia
# Indonesia
# Malaysia
# Philippines
# Singapore
# Thailand
# Vietnam
+ US & Canada
# Canada
+ Western Europe
# France
# Germany
# Ireland
# Italy
# Netherlands
# Portugal
# Spain
# Sweden
# United Kingdom
o Traffic & Public Transit
o Weather
* News & Current Events
o Business News
o Gossip & Tabloids
o Local News
o Magazines
o News Networks
o Newspapers
o Politics
+ Elections & Campaigns
o Technology News
* Photo & Video
o Photo & Video Equipment
+ Cameras & Camcorders
# Cameras
# Camcorders
o Photo & Video Sharing
o Photo & Video Software
o Professional Photo & Video Services
o Stock Photography
o Webcams & Virtual Tours
* Real Estate
o Home Financing
o Home Inspections & Appraisal
o Home Insurance
o Property Management
o Real Estate Agencies
o Rental Listings & Referrals
* Recreation
o Boating
o Cycling
o Equestrian
o Hobbies
+ Crafts
+ Paintball
+ Radio Control & Modeling
o Outdoors
+ Fishing
+ Hiking & Camping
+ Hunting & Shooting
o Running
o Surf & Swim
* Reference
o Biographies & Quotations
o Business & Personal Listings
o Calculators & Reference Tools
o Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
o Educational Resources
o Forms Guides & Templates
o How-To & Expert Content
o Language Study & Translation
o Libraries & Museums
o Maps & Geography
o Online Directories
o Time & Calendars
* Science
o Astronomy
o Biological Sciences
+ Anatomy
o Chemistry
o Ecology
o Geology
o Marine Science
o Mathematics
o Physics
o Scientific Equipment
o Scientific Institutions
* Shopping
o Antiques & Collectibles
o Apparel
+ Clothing Labels & Designers
+ Clothing Retailers
+ Footwear
+ Lingerie & Undergarments
+ T-Shirts
+ Watches & Accessories
o Auctions
o Consumer Affairs & Product Reviews
+ Consumer Affairs
+ Price Comparisons
+ Product Reviews
o Coupons & Rebates
o Customer Services
+ Warranties & Service Contracts
o Flowers Gifts & Greetings
+ Cards & Greetings
+ Flowers
+ Gifts
+ Parties & Occasions
o Luxury Goods
+ Gems & Jewelry
o Mass Merchants & Department Stores
o Shopping Portals & Search Engines
o Ticket Sales
* Social Networks & Online Communities
o Blogging Resources & Services
o Dating & Relationships
+ Matrimonial Services
+ Personals
+ Photo Rating Sites
o Forum & Chat Providers
o Online Journals & Personal Sites
o Social Networks
* Society
o Education
+ Colleges & Universities
+ Distance Learning
+ Homeschooling
+ K-12
+ Lesson Plans & Teaching Resources
+ Test Preparation
+ Vocational & Continuing Education
o Government & Regulatory Bodies
+ Royalty
+ Visa & Immigration
o Legal
+ Accident & Personal Injury Law
+ Criminal Law
+ Family Law
+ Intellectual Property
+ Labor & Employment Law
+ Law Schools & Training
o Military
+ Veterans
o Public Safety
+ Crime & Justice
+ Emergency Services
+ Law Enforcement
+ Security Products & Services
o Social Science
+ Demographics
+ Economics
+ International Relations
+ Psychology
o Social Services
+ Welfare & Unemployment
* Sports
o Baseball
o Basketball
o Cheerleading
o Combat Sports
+ Boxing
+ Martial Arts
+ Wrestling
o Cricket
o Extreme Sports
o Football
o Golf
o Gymnastics
o Hockey
o Horse & Dog Racing
o Motor Sports
o Olympics & International Competitions
o Racquet Sports
o Rugby
o Soccer
o Sporting Goods
o Sports Magazines
o Track & Field
o Volleyball
o Water Sports
o Winter Sports
* Telecommunications
o Communications Equipment
o Location & Tracking (GIS-GPS)
o Mobile & Wireless
+ Mobile & Wireless Retailers
+ Mobile Phones
+ Ringtones & Mobile Goodies
o Service Providers
+ Cable & Satellite Providers
+ ISPs
+ Phone Service Providers
# Calling Cards
o Teleconferencing
o VOIP & Internet Telephony
* Travel
o Adventure Travel
o Air Travel
o Attractions & Activities
o Bus & Rail
o Car Rental & Taxi Services
o Cruises & Charters
o Hotels & Accommodations
o Vacation Destinations
+ Australia
+ Caribbean Islands
+ Hawaii
+ Hong Kong
+ Las Vegas
+ Mexico
+ New York City
+ Orlando

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Google Affiliate Network: where are the ads?

I signed up for Google's "Affiliate Network" to try it out with just a few ads on a few of my web page and see how it works. So far I have been approved by several advertisers to allow their ads on my web site. But what is not clear is how I get their ads onto my web site. The usual way this is done is that the advertiser provides a small bit of HTML code I put in my web page, which then displays the ads and includes my account code so I can be paid for the ad. I have the list of advertisers, but can't see how I get the ads.

From the help site, it appears the ads are called "links". It took me some time to work out I could go to a page "get links" and this would generate a list of the available advertisements. For here I can select the ad, size and have the required HTML generated. I started cautiously, putting what I hope is an uncontroversial ad on a transport and smart apartment web page.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Google Affiliate Network

Some years ago I signed up to Google's AdSense service, just to see how it worked. Google cancelled the referrals part of AdSense in August 2008, but invited customers to try their "Affiliate Network". This is based on DoubleClick, which was acquired by Google. It has a controversial history. I will try it out with just a few ads on a few of my web page and see how it works.

While some have criticisms of Google, I found the AdSense service worked reasonably well. It seemed to make a genuine attempt to find relevant and non-objectionable ads to match the web page the ads were on (Amazon.com seem to be unable or unwilling to do this with their ads). It will be interesting to see how the Affiliate Network ads go. So far I have noticed that Google have not fully integrated the new service into the overall system, apart from applying Google layout to the web pages. Now I am going to start by reading some of the help pages, to see what to do first.

The previous Google referrals system was complicated. I found it difficult find any suitable ads for my web site and there were few responses to the ads which I did select. From a quick look, Affiliate Network has a similar interface and may have simialr problems. The difficulty is having to manually select ads for the web site. It would be much easier if the system could select the ads for me.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Google AdSense for Feeds

Google now provide for advertisements in RSS and Atom feeds, including podcasts. Google's AdSense system allows someone who has a feed to have a text or image advertisement added to the top or bottom of each feed item (bottom is the default and seems a better idea to me). Google tracks who clicks on the ads, charges the advertiser and give the feed owner a commission. I have created one to try it out for my Net Traveller blog.

If this is too much for your readers, you can select ads to display every 2nd, 3rd or 4th item. By default the AdSense system will choose the colors and format of the ads (choosing the ad format can be bewildering for the beginner, so this is useful).

One issue may be with big ads in short postings. I have my feeds to only provide the first few lines of each posting. The idea is that this saves bandwidth: you then click on the link to get the full item, if you want it. But if each small item has a big ad on the bottom, it will get very annoying. Also I suspect there will be an arms race between designers of feed readers who will try to block the ads and Google making them appear.

The most confusing part of the process I found was that the feed ads only seem to work using Google's own Feedburner. That is you can't just put a code in your own feed code, as is done for ads on web pages. Instead you give AdSense the address of your feed and then it gets FeedBurner to create a version of it with the ads, supplied from the server. So your existing subscribers will not see the ads: you have to give them a new feedburner address.

Using FeedBurner might have advantages, if caches the feed. The feeds from my web server make up a lot of the download traffic and if I can get someone elee to do that it might be useful. It might be worth then providing the whole item via the feed, not just a summary.

FeedBurner provides facilities for checking on readership of feeds, but this is a whole new management system I have to learn about.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Google Ads on Mobile Phones

After years of trying, and failing, to interest people in the problem of providing accessible web sites for the disabled, I gave up. But I think they will listen to how to put Google ads on mobile phones (which uses the same accessibility techniques). All welcome at this free seminar in Canberra:
Seminar Announcement
Department of Computer Science, FEIT
The Australian National University

Date: Monday, 15 October 2007
Time: 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Venue: Room N101, CSIT Building [108]

Speaker: Tom Worthington

Title: Google Ads on Mobile Phones: accessibility, standards and implementation


Google's AdWords/AdSense system allows businesses to advertise on the web. This service was recently expanded to provide advertisements on mobile phones using XHTM/WAP 2.0, WML/WAP 1.0 and CHTML/iMode, implemented with PHP, CGI Perl or ASP. This is a brief overview of how the Google system is implemented and a demonstration. The differences between the system for desktop and hand held devices is discussed, as is Google's adherence (or lack of) to web standards. The accessibility of the ads, particularly for disabled will also be looked at.

Tom Worthington a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the Australian National University, where he teaches the design of web sites, e-commerce and professional ethics. Tom has been an expert witness in several court cases involving international patent, computer, web and Internet issues, as well as advising governments and companies on ICT problems. In 1999 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society for his contribution to the development of public Internet policy.

Notes: http://www.tomw.net.au/technology/it/google_mobile_ads.php

DCS Seminars: http://cs.anu.edu.au/seminars/

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

St George Bank Annoying Queuing System

Amazon.com sent me a check for royalties on online sales. These are difficult to deposit and made more difficult by a very annoying queuing system introduced by St. George bank.

Unlike Google, who send checks in Australian dollars (and even do direct deposit to Australian banks), Amazon.com send paper cheques in US dollars. At least I think they are in US dollars, as the cheques do not identify the currency or the country they are from. The first time I tried to deposit one of these the teller looked at me suspiciously.

This time I did not manage to get to the teller at all. St. George Bank have introduced a "take a number" queuing system. I pressed "international transactions" and was issued number "D810". A screen showed that A240 was being served, as were some B and C numbers, but no Ds. So I had no idea when, or if, I would ever have a turn. After a while of standing around and seeing if there was any way to find out, I gave up and put the cheque in a deposit envelope in a slot.

The bank called the next day to say that I must come to the counter to deposit overseas cheques. However, by then I was interstate. The following week I turned up at the branch used the name of a teller to bypass the queuing system. This seems a bizarrely inefficient way to run a bank and is not good for the customer.

In the longer term I will see if I can find another bank which does not have this very customer unfriendly system, which seems to be designed to drive people away from St. George bank. Or perhaps Amazon.com will realize that not everyone in the world works in US currency and will have a direct deposit system in US dollars by the time of my next payment.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Google Adsense Referrals 2.0

Google added an expanded "Referrals 2.0" feature to its web advertising service in 2007. In theory this should provide more revenue from the Google Adsense advertisements on my web site, but so far the results have been disappointing.

Google previously paid a referral fee when customers were referred to Google services, such as downloading the Google toolbar. This has now been extended to referrals to other companies. So if, for example, a customer clicks on a Google ad and buys an airline ticket, the airline pays a referral fee to Google. In theory this is better for advertiser than the regular Google AdWords service, where advertisers pays when the the customer clicks on an ad, even if they never actually buy anything.

So far the results from Referrals 2.0 have been disappointing. Over the last few weeks I have tried some Referrals ads on some web pages. These have resulted in 31,640 third party ad impressions (number of times the ads appeared), 44 clicks (people selecting to look for further details from the ad), but no signups (people registering or buying the goods). As a result there was no revenue from this. The Referrals displaced other regular Google ads, resulting in a drop in Google revenue overall.

It may that it is too early to judge the success of Referrals. One problem seems to be that there are few quality advertisers using the service. Also the matching of advertisers to web pages does not seem as finely tuned as Google's regular ads. There are many ads which do not seem to match the topics of the web sites they appear on.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

ADF Gap Year Web Advertising

The Australian Defence Force is advertising on the web an "ADF Gap Year". Recruits can spend a year in the military between school and university. The jobs are offering a minimum of $30,000.

ADF Gap Year
Take the ultimate challenge and earn at least $30,000 per

From: Defense Recruiting Google Advertisement, 2007

The program was only announced by the Prime Minister a few days ago. This is an interesting use of the web.

The gap year originated in the uk and usually is for overseas travel. In the case of military service this may have undesirable implications.

See also: books on gap year.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

My First Cheque from Amazon

Amazon.com ChequeThis photo is of my first cheque from Amazon.Com for selling products on my web site. In return for linking to Amazon from my web site, I get a commission on sales. This is not going to make me a fortune, but I wanted to see how it works as an example of e-commerce.

I gave the ANU e-commerce students a lecture on Web Services using the Amazon system. The students tend to doze off when I am telling them how to use the web, metadata and all that technical stuff to do business on-line. What gets their attention is when I talk about something selling books and use the magic words: "this is not just theory, I use this to make MONEY". :-)

Amazon provide facilities for showing products on-line, similar to Google's AdSense. But Amazon's systems seems less able to select products the customer would be interested in. I set the ANU students an assignment question to work out how to interface to Amazon's system to create a better service.

The Amazon commission did not earn enough for them to send me a payment for about a year (they don't send one until it gets to $US100). But last October it started earning $US100 a day. This dropped back to a few dollars a day shortly afterwards and I never worked out what caused the spike.

Banking the cheque from Amazon turned out to be difficult. Unlike Google, who send cheques in Australian dollars (and now have an electronic deposit option), drawn on an Australian bank, Amazon's was in US dollars. So I had to take it to a special counter at the bank. Amazon do not write on the cheque that it is in US dollars, nor that they are in the USA, which caused some confusion. The teller had never heard of "Amazon Services LCC" which made them suspicious. The address at a PO Box in "Incline Village, NV" made them more suspicious. From Google Maps, this seems to be a small settlement next to a golf course.

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