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Google Affiliate Network finally arrives in the UK

by Dave Tinneny | 04.04.2012
So, Google Affiliate Network launches in the UK today almost four years after first launching in the US. This could be a ‘where were you when you heard?’ moment for some in the industry, or just a small blip in an otherwise slow news day, depending on your opinion of the search giant.

Initially it looks like integration is the main USP for the new network, with your existing Adsense account easily attached from the outset and rumours of Google+ and analytics further down the line. Ringrevenue are on board for pay per call, along with video performance network Coull, to provide a well rounded package.

Early reports are salivating over an impeccable platform, with all the familiarity from every other Google product you use, now wrapped around your day to day affiliate activities.

There are a number of challenges to face however. Following strong early adoption in the US, the Google network quickly became a point of contention, annoyance and frustration. The first time I ever even heard of the Google network was on a long ranting blog post which detailed the arrogance and inefficiencies when dealing with them. It just wasn’t that popular, for affiliates or merchants.

The UK is one of the most developed affiliate industries in the world, without any shadow of doubt. Google will have a monumental task trying to impose themselves in such a tightly contested and unforgiving space.

Which is personally one of the reasons I suspect took them so long to get here in the first place. Google try a lot of things, some of them work and some of them don’t. Controlling a slice of the UK affiliate industry is just too tempting not to work. Most of you will agree that 4 years is a lifetime in the affiliate world (where were four years ago?). My gut instinct tells me that Google have been learning some harsh lessons in the US and will have a much clearer focus in the UK. This won’t be an affiliate version of ‘Google Wave’ for example…

Competition is good and who wouldn’t want to be a fly on the wall at some of the UK’s big networks right now. What are the guys at AWin and TD saying about this in their top secret control bunkers, as they move little flags with brand names around a map in the middle of the oak conference table? Amazing…

I for one am happy with the news today. The reason being that having Google in the affiliate space adds credibility to the industry and takes it another step further from guys in their parents’ garage cookie stuffing someone’s browser while pizza stuffing their own faces.


Welcome Google, and best of luck…