Many of us are still getting over the shock of the announcement that Google will be closing their affiliate network. Frustrating news for those merchants who recently made the switch from other Networks like Affiliate Window, Trade Doubler, Linkshare etc. and for publishers who have spent hours signing up with individual merchants across the network. The Google Affiliate Network is to be wound down through 2013. You can read the official statement from Google below.
“Our goal with Google Affiliate Network has been to help advertisers and publishers improve their performance across the affiliate ecosystem. Cost-per-action (CPA) marketing has rapidly evolved in the last few years, and we constantly evaluate our products to ensure that we’re focused on the services that will have the biggest impact for our advertisers and publishers. To that end, we’ve made the difficult decision to retire the Google Affiliate Network and focus on other products that are driving great results for clients.
Publishers can continue to earn revenue through the AdSense network. And marketers can take advantage of other CPA-oriented Google tools like Product Listing Ads, remarketing and Conversion Optimizer to drive valuable online sales and conversions. These areas are growing rapidly and we continue to invest significantly in them.
We’ll continue to support our customers as we wind down the product over the next few months. While we will no longer be adding new product functionality, we will maintain the platform during the transition period. We plan to disable publisher relationships from advertiser programs on July 31, 2013. Publisher payments will be disbursed for network activity generated through this date. We will continue to make certain functionality available through October 31, 2013 for retrieving reports, reconciling orders, and processing payments.
A huge thanks to all our advertisers, publishers and the team that has worked tirelessly on Google Affiliate Network over the past few years. We look forward to helping you grow your business in the future.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
The Google Affiliate Network Team”
My advice to publishers signed up with GAN is to contact your merchants as soon as you can and ask them:
- Will they be continuing their affiliate activity ?
- If so, where will they be moving to ?
- Request an email from them to let you know when they move and to what network
The sooner you do this the better as it will improve continuity for you site.
My advice to merchants signed up is to consider contacting the other networks and see what they are able to offer you. I’m sure many of the Networks will be buoyed by the fact Google has closed its affiliate network:
My top pick from the affiliates listed above for publishers and merchants within the UK market would have to be Affiliate Window. They have a huge portfolio of merchants and have most of the UK’s best and well loved stores and sites. They also boast a user-friendly interface and some great product feeds.
For more niche sites i would recommend Web Gains and Affiliate Future.
US sites i would recommend any or all of the top 3 players: Commission Junction, Linkshare and Trade Doubler.
A relative new comer to the UK market would be Performance Horizon who have just signed up Sainsburys. They are expanding their portfolio and have a great user interface.
Best of luck to all in the Affiliate World. Google bowing out, whilst frustrating for some, it is certainly not the end of the world and it is probably right that they focus more attention on what works for them. I’m sure they’ll survive (!)