J.J. Hirschle, head of the Google Affiliate Network, announced today that the company has decided to shut down Google Affiliate Network following a review of goals and outcomes of the program. While its certainly no Google Reader, this does seem to be part of an ongoing effort at Google to eliminate lines of business that aren’t creating significant value.
Weâ€™re constantly evaluating our products to ensure that weâ€™re focused on the services that will have the biggest impact for our advertisers and publishers.
To that end, weâ€™ve made the difficult decision to retire Google Affiliate Network and focus on other products that are driving great results for clients.
No doubt competitors Commission Junction and LinkShare, who comprise the “big 3” for large advertisers along with GAN, were pleased to have Google off their turf. But this move does make me wonder whether Google saw meaningful revenue opportunities with performance-based affiliate programs (it sounds like not if you read between the lines of the announcement), and how much they are actually leaving behind for the hungry sales reps waiting in the wings. With many investors already sour on e-commerce I wonder what this means for other businesses relying on performance marketing to monetize.
What Google product do you think is next on the chopping block?