Google Affiliate Network Done For

Wow, what a week eh? The mess in Boston, the mess in Texas, the mess in China, the mess in Washington DC… at least no one died in DC but what a horrid week around the world.


With all of that, news that the Google Affiliate Network was shutting down probably slipped through the radar of most people; indeed, this is the first time I thought about talking about it. I remember when I wrote about GAN the first time how I thought that they would be a viable group to challenge Commission Junction, whom I first introduced here in 2008. After all, they were backed up by Google weren’t they? They even had my favorite offline company, Barnes & Noble, as one of their anchors. What could go wrong?

What went wrong? Over all these years, other than a couple of book sales that I believe netted me 50 cents or so total, it just never developed properly. Their formatting was a mess; their homepage was a mess. Some of the companies they got to allow them to advertise were quality, such as Allstate and Motorola, but they didn’t stick around long. Even Barnes & Noble left, going to Linkshare, along with other top companies like Microsoft.

I never got the feeling that Google really knew what to do with this type of thing. For that matter I never quite figured out what to do with most of what they had either. The interface was always kind of difficult to work with. I had many problems finding either banners or products that would fit into what I needed. CJ and Linkshare are both much easier to use when looking for something specific to market.

Of course now I, and thousands of others, have to go through the process of finding all the links going back to GAN and removing them; that’s not going to be pretty. I’m lucky not to have all that stuff on my blogs but I do have other websites; ugh. That’s always the danger of some of these companies though; it happens on the other two sites I’ve mentioned as well. If CJ ever shuts down like this, I’m in real trouble.

Goodbye GAN; a promise that never quite fulfilled anything, like many other things Google has tried, but at least you gave it a shot. Meanwhile, I did a video on this topic with my Hot Blog Tips Hangout gang; you can check this out if you’re interested:


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12 thoughts on “Google Affiliate Network Done For”

  1. Even though I am a member of GAN I’ve never promoted any of their affiliates. so their demise doesn’t really bother me although I am somewhat surprised.

    I wrote about a site that I’m sure has Barnes and Noble as well as heaps of other respectable companies as part of their clientele. You even commented on the post. You can always consider joining them.
    Sire recently posted..How Every Blogger Can Finally Monetize Their BlogsMy Profile

    1. Sire, you should mention it since not everyone who reads this blog has been to yours. For now I’m good, as I’ve done little over the past couple of years with my affiliate programs, and I should be slapping myself for that.

  2. Mitch, this really makes me wonder if Feedburner is next. The rumors have been fyying for a while on it. Why is Google getting rid of all these products? Is it to focus on making more money? Thanks for sharing with us as there was too much news to focus last week.

    1. Lisa, I’m still hoping Feedburner isn’t going to be next but as things keep changing I’m losing a bit of that confidence. I wonder what the Google people that aren’t using Blogger use to track their RSS feeds.

  3. Google seems to be trimming the fat a bit. I didn’t even know this particular product existed, but I’m not surprised their chopping it.

    If they would have gotten a few “Warrior Forum” vets to promote the service they’d be sitting pretty right now. If those guys can figure out a way to make money with it, they’ll definitely promote it.

    I’ll also say that it would not be cool if Feedburner went under. It was a great way to “clean” the non-standard RSS feeds native to Joomla back in the day. I still use it for my WordPress as well.

    There are rumblings about Google Voice going away, too. I also use that so it would suck.

    It’s not the end of the world, but it certainly make me more and more wary when I decided to invest in Google services.
    John Garrett recently posted..Joomla Image Menu Rollovers with CSS SpritesMy Profile

    1. I know what you mean John by wanting to think twice before using certain services. Frankly, it’s why I won’t use their photo service, won’t use their cloud services, and have never used Google Docs personally. I’m glad Google Plus has decided to stick around, although for a short while I wasn’t sure that was going to make it either.

      Can you tell me more about Google Voice? I have no idea what it is, so obviously I’ve never thought about using it.

      1. Google Voice is essentially a way to have a “public number” that I give out, then that number forwards to my real number. At least that’s how I use it.

        When I went freelance a couple of years ago I didn’t want to purchase a separate phone, but I didn’t necessarily want to give out my real number either.

        I signed up for Google Voice, and that’s the number I give out to clients (initially, anyway).

        There’s more to it than that, but that’s pretty much all I use it for. It’s not mission critical, but it would be an annoyance to me if it folded.
        John Garrett recently posted..10 Things You Didn’t Know About BloggingMy Profile

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