Google has announced that it will be retiring or shutting down Google AdSense Referral feature in the last week of August 2008. This move will cover the AdSense advertisers products and the Google products as well. In lieu of the withdrawal of the AdSense referral feature, Google intends to serve its advertisers and publishers via two alternative affiliate programs, namely, 'AdSense for Content' and 'DoubleClick Performics Affiliate'.
More information about the proposed retirement of Google AdSense Referral Program is available at the AdSense Help Center.
The AdSense advertisers, from late August 2008, will witness that their remaining AdSense referral advertisements, if any, won't be operational and will be taken over by blank spaces on their websites. Google has strongly advised that all AdSense advertisers should replace their AdSense referral advertisement codes with AdSense for Content advertisement codes before the last week of August. You can get this advertisement code by signing in to your AdSense account, selecting the AdSense Setup tab, and choosing AdSense for content as the product.
Also, from about the same time, Google will cease to record clicks of AdSense advertisers. If a user completes the advertiser's required action within 30 days of clicking on the advertisement, then earnings will accrue to his account through the end of September. Beyond this point, advertisers won't be able to earn from their referral advertisements.
As stated before, Google has already come with an alternative in the form of affiliate programs. The DoubleClick Affiliate Network will now be designated as Google Affiliate Network for advertisers and it will primarily target advertisers residing in the United States. This particular program will enable advertisers to apply for advertiser programs and get paid based on advertiser-defined actions.
However, if an advertiser has less than 3 AdSense for advertisement units on page, then he should replace those advertisement units with the AdSense for Content (AFC) advertisement unit.
For more details about Google Affiliate Network, you can visit: www.google.com/ads/affiliatenetwork.