Google is testing a new online-ad system in which advertisers pay only when their ad leads to a purchase or a sales lead, the company confirmed on Thursday.

The new cost-per-action system will be a separate ad auction system from the current cost-per-click setup, said Google spokesman Brandon McCormick. The ads are being offered through Google's AdSense unit, which places ads on Web sites.

AdSense publishers will be able to choose from a selection of ads and will have more flexibility in promoting the ads, according to Google.

Because they'll be tied to a purchase, the new ads are expected to be auctioned at higher prices than cost-per-click ads, which cost advertisers every time an ad is clicked on whether or not it leads to a sale. The ads also would cut down on click fraud, which occurs when ads are clicked on without there being any intention of making a purchase.

"We're always looking for new ways to provide effective and useful features to advertisers, publishers and users," Google said in a statement. "As part of these efforts we are currently testing a cost-per-action pricing model to give advertisers more flexibility and provide publishers another way to earn revenue through AdSense. We're pleased with how the test is progressing and will continue to gather feedback from advertisers and publishers."

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