Now this is a coup that must have PayPal shaking. Google has announced that it will be extending its waiver of fees past the end of 2006 to December 31st, 2007! Unfortunately, however, there are reports that companies with affiliate programs have switched to this affordable system way too soon.
The problem is that Google Checkout requires serious tweaking before affiliate codes are passed along and properly recorded. And when I say “serious tweaking” I mean that even Commission Junction (CJ) has been reported to having some difficulty with the switchover; I smell some unfriendly programming! As a result, if companies with affiliate programs switch to Google Checkout too soon they may be alienating their bread and butter - affiliate sales.
I expect that if Google does not provide a clearer path to passing along affiliate id’s then there will be significant to the companies that switched too soon as well as some bad feelings towards Google. It should be noted that the affiliate marketplace is massive and carries some extensive clout; I am certain that many online businesses stay afloat solely on the backs of efficient affiliate programs. Caveat Emptor!
Fortunately Matt Cutts noted in WebmasterWorld that he, “…escalated this to the Google Checkout folks as soon as I heard about it, so I know they’re looking to see if there’s anything they can do pretty quickly to help on this issue.” (source link)
- This is a great overview of the affiliate issue: Google Checkout Affects Affiliate Tracking
- Here is a link to a WebmasterWorld forum that discusses the Google Checkout affiliate id issues (sorry you have to be a member but if you are not - make the leap - it is worth it!)
Do you have an opinion about this subject? Please post a comment, I am very interested to get the opinion of some affiliates.