It Is Time to Rethink Your AdWords Strategy. Google Is Saying Goodbye to Pay-Per-Action

If you use the Pay-Per-Action advertising feature in AdWords, it is officially time to rethink your strategy.  Today, Google announced that they will be disbanding the Pay-Per-Action beta test at the end of August.  In the past year I’ve really grown to like, and even rely, on this conversion source.

When PPA was first announced in early ’07, I was skeptical.   Since that time, I’ve implemented Pay-Per-Action in a number of my AdWords accounts.  Some have not performed well, but I’ve had plenty of accounts thrive with their PPA campaigns.  And I’ll be perfectly honest, I’ve become really comfortable using PPA.

To consolidate our offerings, we will be phasing out the AdWords pay-per-action beta in the last week of August 2008. As an alternative to pay-per-action advertising, Google offers two products that allow you to manage your advertising on a CPA (cost-per-acquisition) basis: the Conversion Optimizer and the Google Affiliate Network.

Google’s decision is based primarily on their integration with DoubleClick.  That system offers more in-depth cost-per-acquisition based advertising systems, and Google feels the need to consolidate.  PPA will officially die the last week of August.  What respite has Google offered to those of us who are using Pay-Per-Action?  Google says to try the Conversion Optimizer and the Google Affiliate Network.

Conversion Optimizer is really just a bid management tool within AdWords that lets you “aim” for a defined cost-per-acquisition.  The Google Affiliate Network is actually a DoubleClick product that is completely separate from AdWords or AdSense.  In other words, you can throw convenience out the window!

I’m sad about the impending loss of the Pay-Per-Action beta, but I suppose I will learn to deal with this loss in time.  However, I admittedly will have to think fast about how I’ll replace the leads I’m generating with PPA!

Is anyone else a little disheartened at this news, or am I the only one?