Google est aussi très sélectif dans son choix d’annonceurs. Pour joindre le réseau, l’annonceur doit rencontrer un représentant de Google et payer une somme initiale de 2000 $ (500 $/mois minimums par la suite). Sur leur site d’information, Google mentionne aussi que les annonceurs peuvent choisir leurs éditeurs, ce qui permet aux annonceurs d’avoir plus de contrôle.
In 2006, the most active sectors for affiliate marketing were the adult gambling, retail industries and file-sharing services.:149–150 The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors. Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.:149–150
Affiliates were among the earliest adopters of pay per click advertising when the first pay-per-click search engines emerged during the end of the 1990s. Later in 2000 Google launched its pay per click service, Google AdWords, which is responsible for the widespread use and acceptance of pay per click as an advertising channel. An increasing number of merchants engaged in pay per click advertising, either directly or via a search marketing agency, and realized that this space was already occupied by their affiliates. Although this situation alone created advertising channel conflicts and debates between advertisers and affiliates, the largest issue concerned affiliates bidding on advertisers names, brands, and trademarks. Several advertisers began to adjust their affiliate program terms to prohibit their affiliates from bidding on those type of keywords. Some advertisers, however, did and still do embrace this behavior, going so far as to allow, or even encourage, affiliates to bid on any term, including the advertiser's trademarks.
In November 1994, CDNow launched its BuyWeb program. CDNow had the idea that music-oriented websites could review or list albums on their pages that their visitors might be interested in purchasing. These websites could also offer a link that would take visitors directly to CDNow to purchase the albums. The idea for remote purchasing originally arose from conversations with music label Geffen Records in the fall of 1994. The management at Geffen wanted to sell its artists' CD's directly from its website but did not want to implement this capability itself. Geffen asked CDNow if it could design a program where CDNow would handle the order fulfillment. Geffen realized that CDNow could link directly from the artist on its website to Geffen's website, bypassing the CDNow home page and going directly to an artist's music page.
Le réseau, aussi connu sous le nom de programme ou de plateforme, agit comme intermédiaire entre l’annonceur et l’éditeur. Le réseau facilite la vie de l’éditeur pour trouver et participer à un programme d’affiliation en marketing. Le réseau permet aussi de rejoindre un plus grand nombre d’annonceurs et d’éditeurs. Certains réseaux ont des frais d’adhésion tandis que d’autres se prennent une partie des profits de l’annonceur lorsqu’une vente est conclue.