AOL, a division of Time Warner Inc., will introduce a paid search service, which will be backed by Google’s technology to help advertisers better target AOL users. AOL has announced the launch of Search MarketPlace, an AOL branded version of Google Search’s advertising platform, which is known as AdWords. As part of the deal, sponsored links from Google’s AdWords technology will appear on AOL Search pages.
AOL Search Marketplace will be a customised version of AdWords that will allow advertisers to reach AOL Search customers more effectively, a spokesperson from AOL said. The service will help AOL capture advertising dollars from ads linked to search terms in text, in addition to the money it makes from display ads, such as banners.
AOL Search Marketplace is part of an agreement with Google that took place in December 2005, in which Google purchased a $1 billion stake in AOL.
Boosting online ad sales is the top priority at AOL, which restructured its business last summer to offer most of its services to users for free. AOL ad sales rose by 49 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2006 to nearly $2 billion.
The deal does not include the AOL Video Search service yet. AOL has also announced two new AOL Search services, AOL Local and AOL Shopping, which will be soon rolled out. AOL Local is a local search tool based on MapQuest technology and content from AOL CityGuide. AOL Shopping, as its name suggests, is an e-commerce service. Pricegrabber.com, a new search partner for AOL, will power it.
Google’s dominant text search technology has made it the most powerful advertising channel on the Internet. According to Jupiter Research, some 25 per cent of online ad spending went to Google in 2006, as compared to 8 per cent for AOL.