The Google Affiliate Network works like any ordinary affiliate ad network, by enabling advertising relationships between publishers and advertisers, whereby publishers get paid for every successful sale transactions that their site brings to advertisers.
As a Google Affiliate Network publisher, you can add an advertiser’s banner or text link on your site. When a transaction, such as a sign-up or purchase, occurs through one of these affiliate links, Google Affiliate Network will track the sale and pay you a commission or bounty.
The Google Affiliate Network has been integrated into Google AdSense. All Google Affiliate Network publishers must accept AdSense terms. Additionally, all earnings are distributed through AdSense.
But being a Google AdSense publisher does not make you automatically a publisher in Google Affiliate Network. You must complete a separate application for Google Affiliate Network.
In order to join the program, you need to apply to their network in two steps:
Step 1: Link to or apply for a Google AdSense account.
Step 2: Tell Google about your site and promotional methods.
Each application is reviewed by the Google Affiliate Network quality team which will check some requirements, such as being a site that attracts a desirable audience for the products offered, able to test advertising offers and nurture the most productive relationships, being an expert in driving and converting visitor traffic and adhere strictly to Google Affiliate Network quality standards and advertiser policies.
In addition Google states that,
we’ve found that Google Affiliate Network tends to yield greater benefits to publishers who create niche content, manage loyalty and rewards programs, aggregate coupons and promotions, or manage social media.
Payments are processed on a cost-per-action (CPA) basis, typically as a revenue share or fixed bounty for a lead or other action. Google Affiliate Network earnings will be posted to your Google AdSense account approximately 30 days after the end of every month.