Today, Google announced that it is rebranding DoubClick's Performics Affiliate as the Google Affiliate Network. Google acquired DoubleClick in March 2008 for $3.1 Billion. The Google Affiliate Network is not yet integrated into Google's AdSense and will continue to be hosted at ConnectCommerce.com for the time being. Companies currently featured on the network include Target, Kohls.com, Citibank, Circuit City, Zazzle, Bank of America, Verizon, and Barnes & Noble.
It's interesting that Google seems to feel enough pressure to only half-heartedly rebrand Performics. While the login page is very much in line with Google's other products, it only redirects users to the old Performics page. Also, under its AdSense banner, Google is already offering a number of pay-per-action options (though at least in name, this is still a beta).
Google is clearly trying to expand its advertising portfolio both for publishers and advertisers. Chances are that Google will integrate the Affiliate network into AdSense in the long run. Given the synergies between the two, it does seem strange, though, that Google would not be doing this already. But then, Google does often seem to take a rather long time to integrate its acquisitions (just think GrandCentral of Jaiku).
Google is only slowly opening up the Affiliate Network to new publishers. Those interested in signing up are currently being forwarded to an application form.