Farewell Google Affiliate Network

As an example of how little Google cares about a product once they decide to shut it down, we only know about this via a brief mention in a blog post, sneakily titled An update on Google Affiliate Network:

We’ve made the difficult decision to retire Google Affiliate Network and focus on other products that are driving great results for clients.

To be fair, Google didn’t buy the network deliberately, it was a minor component of their multi-billion dollar purchase of DoubleClick. Known as Performics back then, the affiliate network was worth perhaps $50 million (based on what Double Click paid for it 2 years prior).

But also to be fair, if they didn’t want it they could have sold it to someone else and pocketed $50 million. Perhaps it wasn’t worth their bother for such a piddling amount.

Since Performics became GAN, it hasn’t changed much. Apart from making it look more like a Google product, it seems they put little effort into it. They didn’t even give it its own domain name!

And now, merchants and affiliates who have perhaps had a relationship for a decade through the Performics / GAN platform, will now have to shift to a new platform. Of perhaps just give up, emulating the mega-successful Google?

Google: Product Killer: 70 & Counting

That’s not 70 all time, that’s 70 in the last 18 months. How many businesses have the luxury of ditching products at a rate of one per week??

Woody Leonhard says:

By my count, Google has discontinued more than 70 free-standing apps and major sets of APIs in eight different “spring cleanings” over the past 18 months. Perhaps Larry Page took Steve Jobs’ advice to figure out what Google’s good at, and focus … mercilessly.

It is easy to forget in these fast-moving times, but these are some of the more notable dumps:

  • Aardvark – peer-to-peer Q@A, purchased for $50 million, lasted 19 months
  • Google Desktop Search – best you could get, great brand advocate, but not an earner
  • Fast Flip – interestingly the similar product FlipBoard is all the rage these days…
  • Jaiku – like Twitter but they didn’t want to play second fiddle
  • Google Wave – email 3.0, but too advanced to make waves
  • iGoogle – a landing page that was used by millions. They’ve re-animated it until November, but this is one of the more senseless killings
  • Google Reader – it seems almost certain that the most popular replacement will make a $billion
  • FeedBurner – purchased for $100 million, massive user base, hanging on by a thread. Do they dare kill this as well?