Since Google Analytics can handle shopping cart and 'goals' - is it possible to utilize it as a rudimentary affiliate tracking system? by using the utm_ variables, and placing the goal at the end of the purchase process (we only sell one product) it seems very feasible that it could. I guess my (and possibly the affiliates) concern is that its only a logging program, but the technology is very much the same for an affiliate system?
I've used Firefox's adblocker extension to block all the Analytics tracking codes so that I don't skew my own sites statistics as I test and work on them. The side effect is I don't show up in your Analytics stats either.
So if I buy something for you, you won't have to pay your affiliates.
You would need to allow every affiliate access to your GA account. In theory you can add access to email addresses to be able to do this, but I don't know what the maximum number of users is. the alternative would be to give every affiliate the same log in - which is a dangerous plan!
I see many problems trying to do this:
1) No automated sign up process for affiliates 2) Either you give them unfettered access to the tracking or they are required to just trust you. 3) Once a person can see the conversion tracking, they can easily abuse it by simply loading the thankyou page and creating false positives 4) Affiliates can see other affiliate marketing strategies and copy or obstruct other affiliates.