How Skimlinks' Google Affiliate Network (GAN) Overwrite Works

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With Google “retiring Google Affiliate Network effective July 31, 2013″ [source], Skimlinks has developed an overwrite to minimize the disruption to content publishers when their unalternated GAN links go inactive.

Today’s announcement on the company’s website reads:

GAN-Overwrite-is-Live-12We are very excited to announce that our GAN link overwrite is now live…

It works by identifying broken GAN links and will automatically convert them to live affiliated links to any of Skimlinks’s nearly 20,000 retailers. If the former GAN retailer is not in the Skimlinks network, the overwrite will prevent the link from breaking, so that the content publisher can still potentially monetize it and earn a commission.

Knowing that my readers may have additional questions about this functionality, I’ve reached out to Skimlinks’ Senior Director, Mark MacDonald, to ask him a few additional questions. Here’s our brief interview that should help everyone understand a little better how the overwrite works:

Geno: Will the overwrite work without any additional effort on the affiliate’s part (i.e. if they use Skimlinks, all inactive GAN links will be automatically overwritten)?

Mark: That’s correct. Skimlinks’ GAN overwrite will automatically convert inactive GAN links to working links, and affiliate links to all merchants in the Skimlinks network of more than 18,000 retailers.

Geno: So GAN links “will automatically convert to an active, affiliated link from the company’s network of …retailers.” How exactly will a replacement retailer/advertiser be chosen? Based on what the original advertiser’s new platform’s tracking link is, or can it end up being their direct competitor?

Mark: We aren’t changing the retailer that is being linked to. It’s only when the former GAN retailer is live on another network that we’ll be able to monetize the link.

Geno: Also, please clarify for my readers if you are paying them (content publishers) directly (sort of like a sub-affiliate network)?

Mark: Yes, we pay the content publishers directly.

Geno: Is there anything else you would like to add in conclusion?

Mark: Yes. We have received an encouraging response from the industry at large, which underscores the clear need for this overwrite. Thankfully we can act nimbly, and minimize the financial impact this would otherwise have on former GAN publishers.

Nice idea for a (temporary) solution to the problem of (potentially) broken Google Affiliate Network links.

About Geno Prussakov

CEO & Founder of AM Navigator – an award-winning OPM agency. Founder & Chair of Affiliate Management Days conference. Author of bestselling "A Practical Guide to Affiliate Marketing" (2007) and "Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day" (2011), speaker, consultant, and affiliate marketing evangelist.

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