Google Dropping Ebook Affiliates To “Create A Better Experience For Customers”

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Yesterday I received a strange email from the Google Ebook Affiliate program. They said they are terminating my affiliate status, effective March 15.

At first I thought it was just me, perhaps because my Google ebook links never converted very well. Then I saw on Publishers Weekly that I’m not alone; a lot of affiliates are being dropped, including independent booksellers.

Here’s what Google’s email said:

Dear Publisher,

We are constantly evaluating our Google eBook affiliate program, searching for the best mechanisms to create value for our partners and users. With our most recent evaluation, we’ve decided to narrow the scope of the program to a smaller number of partners to create a better experience for our customers.

As a result, your Google eBooks affiliate status will expire as of Thursday, March 15, 2012, and all links will be deactivated. We ask that you please remove logos, links and banners belonging to Google eBooks from your website in a timely fashion. Commissions earned on all eligible transactions through Thursday, March 15, 2012, will be paid out according to the standard Google Affiliate Network payment guidelines. If you have any questions or are interested in learning more, please contact ebooks-affiliates@google.com.

On behalf of Google eBooks, we’d like to thank you for your participation. Please keep in mind, Google Affiliate Network manages hundreds of additional advertisers and we invite you to take advantage of other programs in our network.

Sincerely,

Google Affiliate Network

I find it odd that Google wants to limit the number of affiliates they have in their ebook program. With Amazon and Barnes & Noble dominating the ebook market right now, you’d think Google would want as much exposure as possible.

Honestly, when I’m thinking about buying an ebook, the last place I think to go is to Google’s ebookstore. Their problem is not that customers have a bad experience because of too many affiliates. Rather, their problem is that they don’t have enough exposure through affiliate links.

Being drowned out by Amazon is Google’s biggest obstacle in the ebook market. I think Google is making a horrible mistake. I say that not because I am a Google Affiliate (soon to be a former one), but because obscurity will only decrease their sales.

There’s got to be more to this than what their email says.

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