Goodbye, Google Affiliate Network (GAN)

Goodbye, Google Affiliate Network (GAN)

I received a shocking update from Google that Google Affiliate Network (GAN) is now retiring. The effective date is July 31, 2013.

Here’s the official release:

google affiliate network announcement

Now it’s time for me to look for other, more established alternatives like Shareasale and Commission Junction. But I will miss GAN. Why?

Firstly, GAN is integrated with Google AdSense in term of commission payment delivery. This is a huge help for an International publisher like me, as I am not fancying check payments – too much hassle on my side.

I typically receive AdSense payments via Western Union. Indeed, it is a great solution (other than Paypal) for an International publisher, and let’s be honest here, how many affiliate networks out there which support Western Union and/or Paypal?

Secondly, there are some GAN advertisers that I am keen to partner with – business credit cards, business services, online tools, and so on. It’s not as big as Commission Junction, but with the convenience in receiving the commission payment, GAN is my go-to affiliate network, followed by Shareasale.

Why GAN is retiring?

It’s nothing new, actually. Google introduces and retires its products on regular basis. The latest one is a big one, as Google retires Google Reader.

In the official release, J.J. Hirschle, Head of Google Affiliate Network, says, “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.”

So – what I can learn from the update is the fact that GAN is not bringing profitability for advertisers – thus it’s not bringing enough operating profits for Google. Make sense.

They actually have a strong lineup of advertisers, but I do understand that not many people are aware of GAN. It lacks buzz and I actually learn about it via word of mouth on online forums.

Personally, I have no luck with GAN, selling a couple of products from a file storage/sharing company – that’s all.

Any alternatives?

I’m not sure whether there are many other affiliate networks which will pay publishers via Western Union or Paypal. PepperJam Network is one, but I know nothing about other similar networks.

I do know one more alternative, but I wouldn’t say it’s an affiliate network: Skimlinks It’s actually a contextual advertising platform, automatically adding links to your content’s keywords. Unlike Clicksor, the link is actually affiliate links of advertisers; this saves tons of time to add affiliate links manually.

So, any affiliate networks you recommend? If you have any suggestions, please share with us!

Ivan Widjaya

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