Google has announced that it will retire its AdSense Referrals program during the last week of August 2008. After that time, AdSense Referrals code will no longer display ads. In addition, from the end of October 2008, publishers will no longer be able to generate reports for historical referral performance.

For publishers who want to stay with Google while still manually selecting the ads that appear on their sites, Google recommends its Affiliate Network, which is based on the DoubleClick Performics network Google acquired in March 2008. You should be prepared for a much worse deal though. Here are a few highlights from those portions of the application form I was able to read — several sections and all links were broken due to faulty JavaScript.

Acceptance is apparently quite slow — it is advertised as “typically within 48 hours”.
According to the form, the application may be declined “if your contact information does not match WHOIS (sic) registration information for the domain submitted”, or if the applicant’s email address domain does not equal that of the web site.
Remittance outside the United States of America takes place only by cheque, a payment instrument that may be expensive to liquidate in countries that have graduated to electronic bank transfers.

What do you think? Please post your comments!