announced that the Google Affiliate Network (GAN) will be closing. This appears to be a quick decision, or at least was kept very quiet internally, because they recently created new help videos, have been adding new advertisers, and are active on Google+ and Twitter.
An official closure date has not been announced at this time. GAN vaguely said it will wind down the affiliate network over the next few months, although I received information from an advertiser stating that Google's support will not be available after April 30, 2013.
Update - May 2, 2013 (email notice): All GAN services, except for payment and reporting, will be suspended on July 31, 2013. On October 31, 2013 the remaining services are to shutdown and Google Affiliate Network will be terminated. Payments to publishers will be made for activity through July 31st; after this date you should remove all link/add placements from your web properties. If you are interested in trying Google AdWords and do not currently have an AdWords account please email me for a promotional credit.
I have found affiliate advertising to benefit the advertiser more than any other party involved. Don't get me wrong, that is not a bad thing if you are the advertiser! As a publisher I have displayed Google Affiliate Network ads over the years with little success. The primary reason I did not see meaningful revenue is because I don't have the amount of traffic to generate enough clickthroughs. Even still, most visitors didn't click and the people that did rarely ordered which essentially allowed the seller to get extremely inexpensive display advertisements. I understand Google's decision and feel it is the right choice for them. Many people love it and if you are looking for a new service try AvantLink, ShareASale, and Impact Radius.
Google has other advertising solutions/services such as Product Listing Ads, AdSense, and The Conversion Optimizer that marketers can use.
What do you think about the closing of the Google Affiliate Network? Share your thoughts in the comments below.