Dan Frommer|Jun. 30, 2008, 4:00 PM|3
PrintTags: Advertising, DoubleClick, Google, ValueClick
Google has finally launched Google Affiliate Network, its new name for Performics' affiliate ad network, which it acquired with DoubleClick earlier this year.
What is it? An ad network that pays publishers based on leads or sales -- "cost per action" -- not based on clicks or impressions.
Advertisers like this system because they only have to pay up when they make a sale. And publishers like it because of the variety of ad formats, including text-based links that can be included in editorial content. (It's also an easy way for a no-name publisher to get big-name ads on their site.)
"Amazon, watch out," is Erick Schonfeld's first take in TechCrunch's post about the relaunch. We're not sure what he's talking about: Amazon's (AMZN) affiliate program is handled in-house, without help from an outside network, so there's no overlap with Google's (GOOG) program. (Unless he's talking about the fact that Barnes & Noble is a Google customer. In which case, whatever.)
Who should watch out? Rival affiliate networks LinkShare, owned by Japan's Rakuten; and Commission Junction, owned by ValueClick (VCLK) -- who could easily lose their big clients, or attention/ad inventory from publishers. ValueClick is already down: In March, it lost a big account in eBay (EBAY), which took most of its affiliate ad program in-house.