When Google officially bought DoubleClick on March 11, 2008, one could have seen this coming. In fact, many did; but were unsure what form it would take. Along with DoubleClick came their Affiliate network known as Performics; which is one of the oldest networks, started back in 1998.
In actuality, Google already owned one of the largest affiliate networks; Google Adsense. The only difference was that it operates on a cost-per-click basis. Traditionally, Affiliate Marketing is conducted on a cost-per-action or cost-per-lead basis.
Many people were unsure how Google would proceed with Performics. On June 30th, 2008, Google and DoubleClick made it official, releasing this statement:
“We are pleased to introduce Google Affiliate Network. Effective Monday, June 30, 2008, DoubleClick Performics Affiliate will operate as Google Affiliate Network. The integration with Google’s brand is a reflection on efforts to quickly assimilate our business and teams, as well as reinforce Google’s commitment to the Affiliate channel. Together with our new colleagues at Google we are creating new opportunities for monetization, expansion and innovation in Affiliate Marketing.”
So there it is. The Google Affiliate network has been born. Personally, I think this can be good for Affiliate Marketing as an industry. Along with Google comes credibility and recognition which can help to attract new advertisers and publishers to this channel. Performics has a history of attracting some big names and that shouldn’t change. With the potential influx of new merchants, there will be more choices for publishers. Advertisers will have to take their program t the next level to keep the affiliates they have and to attract new ones.
With that being said, you can probably expect the other affiliate networks to step up their game as well. One thing that this shows is that Affiliate Marketing is here to stay. So in order for other networks to compete and maintain their market share, expect improvements and innovation. Going up against the big G can be tough. Just ask MSN, Yahoo and the likes.
The changes to date have been minimal. The reps at Performics now have @google.com email extensions and the interface was given a face lift to reflect Google’s look and feel. Currently the platform will still be hosted on Connect Commerce, but will eventually be migrated to a google.com product url. Once that happens, you should be able to incorporate the Google Affiliate network into your current Google account.
In conclusion, this is an exciting time in the Affiliate Marketing industry. I think the majority are hoping that this brings new technologies, increased competition, improved service and more selection. Only time will tell…