Q: Do you think Google CPA will overtake affiliate marketing? And do you think affiliate marketing will still be around in 15 years?
A: According to some research I conducted for the Affstat 2007 Report, the actual number of affiliate programs based on the per lead or CPA model was just 19%. On the other hand, the per sale or revenue share affiliate programs accounted for 81% of affiliate programs.
Unless Google starts focusing on revenue share, I don’t think they pose a threat to the affiliate marketing industry.
Anyhow, I see Google CPA as more of another component of affiliate marketing that exists in tandem with the affiliate networks.
Just another option for merchants and affiliates, rather than being an “either/or” situation.
That said, just recently at SES, Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search product and user experience, stated that CPA is “the Holy Grail.”
So obviously, they’ve got confidence in their future and the possibilities in CPA.
On the subject of whether affiliate marketing will be in business down the road, I would say that so long as the Internet is here, affiliate marketing will be here.
After all, affiliate marketers are a commission-based sales force, and that’s a concept that’s been going on for centuries.
In the 1900’s, you had offline examples, which were not called affiliate marketing, but were the same sort of thing – opportunities like being a Fuller Brush man or an Avon lady.
It’s not as it this is a new concept, and I don’t see it going anywhere.