Google has been playing around with the referral system for quite long. The first steps were limiting the referral program only to US publishers and the latest being the complete retirements of the referral system to replace it with Google Affiliate Network a tool they have integrated with DoubleClick Perfomics Affiliate Network.
Here is the final nail in the Google Referrals Coffin that was sent out to AdSense publishers
Thank you for participating in the AdSense Referrals program. We’re writing to let you know that we will be retiring the AdSense Referrals program during the last week of August.
If you currently use referral ads, either to promote Google products or offerings from AdWords advertisers, AdSense Referrals code will no longer display ads beginning the last week of August.
Now this would irk several publishers who strategically used several Google products as referrals. For example many publishers including us, would show a yellow band on the top of the page if anyone visited the site using Internet Explorer, this will definitely change with the Google Affiliate Network.
What do you think about this move from Google? Would you be comfortable to run a affiliate system over a referral system? Though technically both are same, would you look to go with Google itself for find other affiliate alternatives? Do let us know your views and opinions about this move.