Affiliate networks are, likewise, a part of the web. This blog has several casual affiliate links, with other blogs providing similar content. Affiliate networks let the publishers of one website say to their readers
Hey, here's another website with similar information!and the readers of one blog can read another blog / website for different / more insight.
Some blog owners confuse the concept of affiliate networking with a similar (but not extremely so) concept - affiliate marketing. Both concepts involve affiliate relationships. In effect, "affiliate marketing" is one purpose of an "affiliate network".
In my article Blogger Blogs, And The Hall Of Mirrors, I wrote about affiliate marketing networks, and why they are not preferred in the Blogger Blogosphere. In my complementary article Blogger Blogs, And "Affiliate" Networks, I wrote about spam classification, and analysis of affiliate networking relationships to identify other members of an affiliate marketing network, when one spam host is identified, using fuzzy classification.
You'll want to look carefully, at the "affiliate" link URL, too. If the link includes a "referer ID", which is used to reward you, the blog owner, for providing traffic into a link farm, then you better ask where the funding for the traffic fees come from. If you look deeply enough, you'll find another system of hijacked ads, fraudulently stealing money or traffic from the ad hosting companies.
To the question
Is "affiliate networking" forbidden, in Blogger blogs?I would answer
No, Blogger has no problem with affiliate networking, between blogs that are entertaining or useful to your readers.
In a slightly longer explanation, I would offer a contrast.
- No Problem: If your blog contains information that's relevant and useful to your readers, your "affiliate networking" links are between blogs of similar content and / or structure, and all blogs are designed to entertain or instruct, or to sell a legal product to your readers.
- Problem: If your blog contains information that's random and useless to your readers, your "affiliate networking" links are between blogs filled with random and useless information, and all blogs are mainly designed to serve ads, to randomly redirect traffic to other websites and reward you for the traffic, or to sell fraudulent products or services to your readers.
As an authoritative reference, I will provide the Spam Appeal Guidelines - January 2013, which cites "Affiliate marketing" as a known spam ("abusive / inappropriate content") category.