Google announced it is retiring their Affiliate Network to focus on other products. According to a statement on the Google Affiliate Network blog, the company stated that it will continue to support customers as they “wind down” the product over the next few months.
Indirectly blaming the rapid evolution of CPA marketing and their investment in other CPA tools like Product Listing Ads (PLAs), remarketing and Conversion Optimizer, Google emphasized their commitment to products that will have the biggest impact for advertisers and publishers.
In response to retiring the Affiliate ad program, Google recommended Affiliate publishers continue to earn revenue via the AdSense network. For marketers, they suggested other CPA-oriented solutions – PLAs, remarketing and Conversion Optimizer – to drive sales and conversions, stating, “These [products] are growing rapidly and we’re continuing to invest heavily in them.”
Update: Google has given specific dates for the closing of their Affiliate network, announcing plans to disable publisher relationships from advertising programs on July 31, 2013. Publisher payments for network activity generated through this date will be disbursed. Certain functionality will be available through October 31, 2013 to retrieve reports, reconcile orders and process payments.