Internet domain registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy has announced the closure of its direct affiliate programme.

The US-founded business, which also sells e-business related software and services, said after months of compiling data, projecting development timelines and deciding how to best serve its affiliates’ needs, it has now decided to close the direct affiliate programme.

The firm, which has more than 4,000 employees and nearly 60 million domains under management, said it will continue to record GoDaddy direct referrals and issue commission through April 2014. But as of May 1, it will no longer record referrals. Any GoDaddy direct ads placed will also stop earning commission on that date.

While it has axed its direct programme, the affiliate programme will still run, but only through affiliate networks –  Affiliate Window, Commission Junction and ShareASale.

GoDaddy advised affiliates: “The sooner you switch the less chance of any disruption in your commission.”

Interface issues 

In a generic email from its affiliate support, it said: “The GoDaddy direct affiliate programme will be closing at the end of April 2014 and we have stopped accepting new publishers in advance of this.

“You are welcome to apply for admission to our programmes with CJ, ShareASale, or Affiliate Window (UK only).

“In order to join these programmes you must enrol with our partner networks.”

Some affiliates took to social networks and blogs to air their thoughts on the news.

According to Domain Shane, a US domain blog by Shane Cultra, he said while GoDaddy’s programme manager was great, it was the actual interface, and lack of data available to him, that he had issues with.

“You had no idea which ads worked or what sales you made – it was just a number. Only people at GoDaddy could see what was going on,” Cultra said.

He said he thought GoDaddy knew that Commission Junction’s back-end and reporting was much better than their own, and there was perhaps no reason to have them competing against each other.

Why the switch?

When asked about the top reasons some may look to work with networks, over hosting their own direct affiliate programme, strategy director at Affiliate Window, Kevin Edwards, said the reasons are varied in the same way that there is no single solution that fits all advertisers.

“I think for big clients there will be the sheer breadth of knowledge, benchmarking, brand protection, compliance checks, account management and in-house expertise across numerous teams that are all appealing,” Edwards said.

“I think something that also needs to be considered yet is often overlooked, is the adherence to standard theories and principles that are important in order to maintain and grow the integrity of the channel.

“Many direct programmes or platform run campaigns aren’t bound by these to the detriment of the wider industry.”

GoDaddy, which claims to be the world’s number one domain registrar, did not respond to PI’s request for a comment.


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