Big news overnight: Seeking Alpha has the scoop on Google testing an affiliate marketing program, or what they are calling a CPA (cost per action) program that many say will be a Value Click Media/ Commission Junction (CJ) killer.
Can’t say I disagree with this analysis. I’ve never liked CJ, from when they kicked me out of the program way back then because I apparently wasn’t earning enough, to today, where I have a CJ account and yet it would have to be the most cumbersome affiliate system I’ve ever worked with. For starters, you’ve got to apply to be an affiliate with most of the programs, and over half of the companies automatically reject you because you don’t have a US address (really clever this…after all, where does the traffic come from?), then there’s setting up an ad…it’s exactly the same system they were using in 1999.
Having said this though, I do have a Value Click Media account due to their acquisition of Fastclick, and that’s a reasonable service in terms of filling CPM inventory when you can’t be bothered selling it yourself (or you’re too small to really do it yourself).
But imagine Google entering this market. The ease of use of Adsense applied to affiliate marketing! Hopefully they’ll set the entry barriers low and support similar functions to say Clickbank and then the little guy can get a decent service as well, like Google has allowed with Adwords. This marketplace is well and truly overdue for a shakeup, and hence I welcome our Google overlords to it 🙂