The beautiful thing about economics and capitalism is that, unless you are the government, you will not stay in business if you are not adding substantial value to customers.

Google is one of the greatest companies on the planet because they have really smart people who understand this principle extremely well. Below are the three reasons why Google abruptly concluded that their Affiliate Network was adding less and less value to their customers and thus, made the inevitable decision to shut it down.

1. Insufficient technology. Hard to believe that Google did not have sufficient technology, but it’s true! It’s not a matter of having the manpower to do the proper heavy lifting on the coding; instead they chose not to commit the resources to do it. Today’s performance marketing technology requires real-time analytics, robust campaign management features and reporting that is transparent, flexible and thorough.

2. The Pareto Principle secret. Also known as the 80-20 Rule, the Pareto Principle is the deep dark secret that major affiliate networks such as GAN have not wanted advertisers to know. In many cases, 80%-95% of the traffic from these conglomerate affiliate networks comes from one or two major publishers such as RetailMeNot and FatWallet. So where’s the value? Unless an advertiser enjoys paying unnecessary commissions and being locked out of direct relationships with publishers for 1-2 years, there simply is none.

3. Premium service level. Advertisers deserve great service in any industry, especially in online advertising since it is so sophisticated and ever evolving. A knowledgeable technical resource should be available to answer the phone 24/7 because the Internet economy is a sleepless and global one. Advertisers need an experienced partner that cannot only help manage their program, but will also help protect the integrity of their brand and maximize their ROI. Even if it means “earning” significantly smaller commissions.

The performance marketing industry owes Google a collective hug for stepping aside and allowing the new wave of experts raising the bar for advertisers. There is still a place for majors like GAN to manage the massively dispersed “long tail” affiliates all over the web. But the latest technology and expertise that is now available begs advertisers to create direct, professional and transparent relationships with the sources of the majority of their traffic.

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