Blogger and Amazon working together ...Blogger announced integration with Amazon (which was actually only integration with Amazon.com).
At the time, there were hints that this was only the first of many new money-making options and programmes for Bloggers.
These features were added to Blogger to support the integration:
- Ability to sign up for Amazon.com on the Monetize tab
- Existing Amazon.com users link their Blogger and Amazon account on the Monetize tab
- A tick-box on the Monetize tab that let "amazon-integrated" bloggers turn on the Amazon-product-preview without having to install the code
- Amazon Product Finder (APF) - a gadget that bloggers could use in the the Post Editor, to make a link to a product from Amazon.com without leaving the Post Editor screen
- A range of gadgets from Amazon were added to the list in Add a Gadget
... but not any more?For months, there have been complaints in Blogger-help-forum that existing Amazon.com associates couldn't link their Blogger and Amazon.com Amazon.com accounts on the Monetize tab any more: the function just returned an error, or appeared to work, but didn't actually storing the connection.
Now, with the release of Blogger's new interface, the Monetize tab has been renamed Earnings. There's no mention of Amazon on it, and no sign of the Amazon Product Finder (APF) in the Post-editor. And there are reports in Blogger-help-forum that people who had APF turned on in "old blogger" find that it's gone in the new interface - and is broken even if they switch back to the old interface.
On the Amazon.com site their official Amazon-Associates blog is now made with TypePad. I know that I recently saw instructions about putting things (widgets?) into Blogger, that that these commented that blogger has a new look. However the instruction were still based on the old interface. And today, I can't find them at all.
There has been nothing said (that I've seen anyway) by either company. But I think it's safe to assume that the Blogger / Amazon integration has been abandoned.
Why Did This HappenMy guess is that there are two big issues.
Firstly, Amazon.com is a lot more than just a bookseller: Google and Amazon are competitors in some areas (eg document storage), so there's bound to be some friction, even though they managed to agree a compromise in 2009. And possibly that compromise wasn't profitable enough for either of them.
Second, and possibly more importantly, there is an internationalisation issue.
Blogger is a multi-lingual, multi-country platform: different languages and cultures are catered for within the same platform and subject to the same terms and conditions. Blogger users all live with the same rules, that are based on American law (eg the 13-year age limit, which is most probably based on America Children's Online Privacy Protection Act).
Amazon, on the other hand, have different platforms for different countries (even amazon.ca for Canada, vs amazon.com for the USA+rest of the world). This is understandable, because countries have vastly different laws about on-line selling and taxes, so Amazon's rules need to be quite different in different places. Even in the European Union, we see regular updates to the terms and conditions that basically amount to the addition of new countries/languages - Amazon.es (for Spain) was the latest one - and these come with small rule-tweaks too. These big differences mean that integration with a multi-national product like Blogger is not easy: there would be lots of on-going issues with making the sites work well together.
My guess is that these two factors combined have killed off the integration.
What can bloggers do insteadYou can still sign yourself up for Amazon.com (or Amazon.co.uk, or .ca or whatever-other country), and make the links to products and Amazon-widgets yourself. Personally, I think this better anyway, because it gives you control ove the look and feel (colours, backgrounds, tracking-IDs) used on the ads, and choices about where to install the HTML on your blog.
There is no alternative for the Amazon Product Finder gadget - except opening Amazon in a different tab, and making the links there as you need them. It's little bit more work - but only just.
There are still Amazon.com gadgets in the Add a Gadget list (from Dashboard > Layout) - you can find them under the features tab.
For now at least, it looks like Blogger's monetize tab is limited to AdSense , and it is a money-making option that you can sign up for from within Blogger. (Even though there are a few vital extra steps that you should take, even though Blogger hasn't told you about them, like blocking certain ad-categories, and stopping malicious use of your AdSense ID).
And there are, of course, many other advertisting programmes and affiliate programmes that you can consider if AdSense doesn't work for your blog.
Related ArticlesSigning up for Amazon.com
Alternative advertising programmes
Stopping malicious use of your AdSense ID
Making links to products and Amazon-widgets yourself
Changing colours and design of Amazon.com advertisements
Installing the Amazon Product Preview code
Amazon / Blogger integration is with Amazon.com only