Google Affiliate Network (GAN) announced that they will be shutting down their network in the next few months. It came as a shock to me as it is Google. No, we have seen lots of failed Google projects like Google Buzz that got the FTC swarming over that project to Google Wave, but GAN?
GAN started off as Performics, which was acquired by Double Click in 2004 for $58 million in cash, the Google scoop up Double Click in April 2007 for $3.1 billion. Performics was split into 2 companies where the affiliate network was rebranded GAN, and the agency part was sold off to an European company. When that acquisition occurred, we saw small to large merchants leap over to GAN due to the influence that Google had on the affiliate world – namely Target.com.
When I was looking for an affiliate network to join as a merchant, I did consider GAN and a big selling point was the interconnection between GAN and Google’s placement Ads (PLA). The Google search network is huge and a no brainer for GAN, which also put GAN ahead of other networks due to the reach.
From my sources, most of their merchants on GAN did not know about the announce that occurred at 6pm CST. Some merchants are still doing recruitment emails and I am sure it will be a chaotic Wednesday for a lot of people.
Here is the original posting
An update on Google Affiliate Network
Our goal with Google Affiliate Network has been to help advertisers and publishers improve their performance across the affiliate ecosystem. Cost-per-action (CPA) marketing has rapidly evolved in the last few years, and we’ve invested significantly in CPA tools like Product Listing Ads, remarketing and Conversion Optimizer. We’re constantly evaluating our products to ensure that we’re focused on the services that will have the biggest impact for our advertisers and publishers.
To that end, we’ve made the difficult decision to retire Google Affiliate Network and focus on other products that are driving great results for clients.
We’ll continue to support our customers as we wind down the product over the next few months. And there are other products that can help you achieve your goals. Affiliate publishers can continue to earn AdSense revenue through the AdSense network. And marketers can take advantage of other CPA-oriented Google tools like Product Listing Ads, remarketing and Conversion Optimizer to drive valuable online sales and conversions. These areas are growing rapidly and we’re continuing to invest heavily in them.
Thanks for your support of our affiliate product, and we look forward to helping you grow your business in the future.
Posted by: J.J. Hirschle, Head of Google Affiliate Network