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It Pays to Use Google Toolbar on Firefox

Mozilla Firefox fans can list plenty of reasons they chose that browser over Microsoft's Internet Explorer. The latest could be that they got paid to.

Google recently expanded its AdSense for publishers programs to include referrals to both its Adsense program and Firefox with Google Toolbar. The new Firefox referral will pay AdSense publishers up to $1 "per referral the first time a user installs Firefox."

Google's AdSense portal will provide publishers with buttons that they can place on their sites that promote Firefox with Google Toolbar and encourage users to download it. The program is being offered initially just to US based publishers with an international rollout to follow in the future.

"Publishers get paid for referring new AdSense customers but more importantly (to us,) it allows AdSense publishers to earn revenue by recommending Firefox to their visitors," Mozilla staffer Asa Dotzler wrote on the SpreadFirefox.com community Web site.

Google has been offering its toolbar for Firefox since July.

Google is no stranger to Firefox or to open source projects and development. The company plucked Ben Goodger from his post as lead engineer for Firefox earlier this year. Its Summer of Code initiative pumped new ideas into the open source community with over 40 sponsored projects and $2 million in internship grants.

Google also recently donated $350,000 to two universities in Oregon, including Oregon State, which is a major host of the Mozilla project.

The $1 that Google will be paying for Firefox referrals is somewhat less than what Google is offering for publishers who refer new AdSense publishers. Google will pay $100 to publishers who refer new AdSense publishers, once the new publisher earns $100.