Just got this message from AV. Interesting that they refer to it as 'restructuring' when it reads that they will no longer be paying for traffic - sounds to me more like they're ending it...
"AltaVista is restructuring our Affiliate program as of 12:00 am February 9, 2001. Please note that after this date you will no longer be earning commissions for clickthroughs that are generated by AltaVista links. However, if you find benefit in having the AltaVista search functionality on your site, please feel free to continue to use our links.
"All currently enrolled Affiliates who have accumulated a minimum of twenty dollars ($20) in search referrals will be fully compensated for the traffic sent to AltaVista through the end of the program as stated above. Since we are restructuring the Affiliate Program, we are lowering the minimum payment for search traffic from the original level of thirty-five dollars ($35) to express our appreciation for your efforts on our behalf.
"We would like to thank you for your participation in our program and wish you success in the future. If you have any additional questions of concerns please contact: email@example.com"
And if you were in the Alta affiliate program, make sure to take the time to remove their search boxes. It is one of the longest standing net cons there is - get people to put up a affilate box and then end the program. I've known dozens of affiliate programs that startup one month and end the next with the sole intention of getting people to link to them and never paying a dime.
Just in the nick of time. I took out my AV search boxes last week and replaced them with a Goto partner that pays a lot better(not knowing they were going to drop their affiliate prog). I'm a bit disappointed tho, AV's box generated a good bit of spare change. I hope they do it again in the future when they sort things out.