Back in December, I wrote about how Mowser can be used as glue for the mobile web enabling sites to link to any other site - PC or mobile - without worrying about it. Even though we think this is a no-brainer and good for the mobile web in general, we haven't seen much traffic that way.
Shortly after I wrote that post, however, I read this post about the early days of Google, and this bit really struck me:
As of the middle of January, we are averaging more than 10 million searches each day," reported Sergey Brin and Larry Page in the company's newsletter. Google wasn't satisfied and launched an affiliate program that enticed webmasters to add a Google search box to their sites. "By signing up for our affiliate program (...) you'll be able to place a Google search box on your site and begin receiving 3 cents for each search you send our way." At the end of 2000, Google handled more than 100 million search queries a day.
Now that's the way to generate traffic!
Get webmasters to send clicks your way by paying for them? That works! Well, obviously as a startup Miker and I aren't able to pay 3 cents per referral like the Google of old, but after reading that post I realized that's the model we needed to embrace: Giving monetary incentive to mobile web publishers to help drive traffic through Mowser. We've been thinking about it since and finally came up with a solution, and though a referral fee isn't paid directly, we're actually potentially going to generate much *more* than Google's old 3 cents per referral for sites that link to us. How? By using your already existing AdMob or Google publisher ID in the urls you route to Mowser.
We call it Mowser Affiliate Linking...
It's very simple - you prepend your ad ID in the link you use to send us traffic and we'll split the ads we display with you - 50/50 - for as long as the user's web session remains active (about an hour or so). Rather than just linking to a content adaption site and saying goodbye to your users forever, mobile publishers now will be able to continue to generate revenue from ads on Mowser as well.
Here's the templates:
A real example would look like this:
When we see the ad ID, we'll pull it out and use it when we display ads - which are on directories, feed summaries and interstitial pages, or swapped out in place by publishers who've mapped their domains to mowser.com. That's not every page we display as we don't put advertising directly on top of adapted web content, but about every third page there should be an opportunity to display a text-ad with your ID. It's not a perfect system, but it will help generate incremental revenue for sites that normally wouldn't link out at all, or would just choose a transcoder at random. Now mobile publishers have real incentive to link to Mowser instead, and honestly are missing revenue if they don't.
I hope you like it - if there's any questions feel free to ping us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here or in the Mowser Ning Community.
Update: I forgot to mention... any sites that map their m. or .mobi domains to Mowser will automagically get their IDs added as affiliates to outbound links as well. We just need to do some bug-fixing and that should be rolled out in the next few days. :-)