Google have already back-tracked a bit on the removal of the Adsense Affiliate Program. It looks like they only removed it for certain areas and just assumed that if an affiliate was in a certain location then they were only referring users from that location. Now that’s a pretty basic mistake for any affiliate program to make. In my experience it’s pretty rare that affiliates are only targeting their own local population unless it’s a non-English language site.
From the email;
Since announcing the changes, we’ve received a number of responses about the program being dependent on the location of the referring publisher rather than the referred user. After carefully considering this feedback, we have decided to modify our planned changes.
You can usually read that type of language from any affiliate program as marketing speak for “Half of our affiliates vehemently complained, we admit we screwed up and now we’ve been forced into changing the policy” 🙂
That might be a little harsh, Google are doing well to keep the communication lines open to affiliates.
The changes they’ve put forward are;
Specifically, you will have the option to add a referral unit for AdSense within your account when you target any referral unit to Japan and/or any countries in North America and Latin America. To ensure payment for valid conversions, we recommend that you check the targeting settings on your current AdSense referral units.
So, one would assume that in countries where they have an overwhelming market share and everyone uses them as the first option for online marketing (this is pretty much how it works in New Zealand with their 95% share) then they’re dropping the affiliate program completely.
Sounds like a pretty solid business decision.