Google Shuttering Affiliate Marketing Network

A big announcement to affiliate marketing

Google Affiliate Network Logo for Affiliate MarketingGoogle announced Tuesday night it was shutting down Google Affiliate Network (GAN) to focus on other products – in particular Product Listing Ads.  Google Affiliate Network, an affiliate marketing network, helped facilitate and connect publishers and merchants for affiliate marketing efforts. Google has not laid down a definitive timetable, only that it will support current customers “over the next few months”.

This is not the first time Google has shut down their affiliate marketing network. They shut it down the first time in June 2008, only to resurrect it again in 2010. I do not anticipate they will bring GAN back again. GAN has largely been understaffed with few resources – never a good sign.

If you run an affiliate program on GAN, what should you do?

  1. Contact your publishers directly and immediately. A revenue stream for the publishers has been severed and you will need to assure them you will help them in the transition.
  2. Are you utilizing other affiliate marketing networks? If so, migrate as many publishers as possible to your other networks. Provide the publishers all of the tools they need to make a for a seamless transition.
  3. If you are not in another network, there are several out there you can join. ShareASale, LinkShare, and Commission Junction are just a few. All of these have respective fees associated with them.
  4. Recommend running Product Listing Ads on Google Shopping for merchants. The ads are run out of the Google AdWords and Google Merchant interfaces and are proving quite valuable in driving revenue for brands.
  5. Recommend publishers use AdSense as a revenue stream.

GAN worked well for many publishers and merchants in affiliate marketing. Quick action and showing confidence to your publishers you have a grasp on the situation, will assuage fears and and prevent against any future loss in revenue from the closing of Google Affiliate Network.

About Christy Belden

Christy Belden is VP, Media + Marketing for LeapFrog Interactive – a full service digital advertising agency. Christy has worked with Fortune 500 companies in areas of Affiliate Marketing, SEO, PPC, Display, Email and Social Media. She speaks and writes on all topics in digital marketing. Christy has her MBA and M.S. from the University of Louisville.

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