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Google may be about to kill affiliate marketing links

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Media companies could soon become collateral damage in Google’s escalating shopping war with Amazon.

A recent report from the Information (paywalled) writes about Google’s ambitious shopping efforts. In its attempt to compete with Amazon–whose digital ad program is showing real signs of encroaching on the Google-Facebook ad duopoly–Google has been adding retailers to its Express shopping (which will reportedly rebrand to Google Shopping). This program will be how the search giant attempts to beat Amazon: People will search for items on Google.com and then be able to buy them through smaller merchants while still using the platform.

But one thing the Information report doesn’t mention is how Google’s shopping ambitions will negatively affect how media companies monetize their own content. The change will likely have a significant impact on affiliate marketing link revenue, which is one of the ways that publishers have been trying to make up for advertising headwinds over the last few years.

Back in the good old days, digital advertising was more diversified and websites were able to bring in relatively stable revenue. Now the ad........

© Fast Company