Interesting article from Tom Foremski over at ZDNET late last week...
Hundreds of thousands of small businesses use Google affiliate marketing as a way of increasing their revenue (and finding ways to generate traffic to their own websites). After all, in this day and age, it's tough enough to be a small business owner, given the impacts of a massive government (at all levels) sitting on your chest.
So these businesses enter into an agreement with Google - help us get traffic, and we'll help your customers do business. In an honest and transparent world, this is a win-win.
But according to Foremski, something isn't entirely kosher here. Foremski proffers the theory that Google is cutting its affiliates out of the loop, making itself the primary affiliate to drive traffic to its largest partners. Thus, they don't have to pay any shared revenue to the small businesses who have entered into these agreements. These websites don't get the traffic, and they don't get their expected share of the pie.
It's bad enough when the big boys team up with big government (and big labor, I might add) to set things up so that they're tilted to protect the territory of those "who got". But to do this and renege on a promise made, and to do it in what appears to be an underhanded way? It's just god awful.
It's rough out there for small businesses already, Google. They don't need your chicanery to add to it!