Google Affiliate Network (GAN) closing – are publishers mad?

Google Affiliate Network, abbreviated GAN, announced it is closing on July 31, 2013. Payments will process through October 31, 2013 before total shutdown. We should note this is the second time GAN has closed down.

Google Affiliate Network logo

According to your GAN Online Program Terms and Conditions and AdSense Terms and Conditions, we will suspend all GAN services, except for certain reporting and payments functionality, on July 31, 2013. On October 31, 2013, we will suspend and terminate any remaining GAN services.

Many articles on the web are expressing dissatisfaction in investing the time in Google Affiliate Network and building up their affiliate status.  But I have not seen one article yet from the publisher viewpoint.

As a publisher, even small, you had access to thousands of affiliates via Google that now vanish.  I am curious in the amount of money that was gained, and paid to Google, being a publisher. While there were a few larger publishers in GAN, many were smaller businesses leveraging bloggers and sites to market goods across sites and audiences they could never reach.

Publishers are now being sent to the Adsense network, which is still Google owned. So they are not giving up on making money from driving advertising. But now publishers lose control on who gets approved, if set up that way, on who runs the ads.  Adsense does not follow this.

As a Google Affiliate Network publisher, you choose which advertisers you want to work with and what links appear on your website. Once you’re approved to the network, you decide which advertiser programs you’d like to join and submit an application to each. For the advertisers who approve your application, you’ll gain access to the advertisers’ full list of ads which include both text and image links.

This means that now your advertising, as a publisher, is les controlled.  Also your ads, as an affiliate, are using Google’s secret algorithm to run ads instead of you choosing specific publishers to apply to.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you a publisher or an affiliate? Does this change how you run or publish using Google ad services?