AOL Launches Google Powered Marketplace

AOL and Google
have unveiled a new search marketplace that will allow marketers to
target ads specifically to AOL Search users, and to coordinate search
campaigns with other kinds of ads on the AOL Network.

The AOL
Search Marketplace is based on a white-label version of Google’s
AdWords platform, with all its features and functionality. The two had
announced the intention for Google to create a white-label marketplace
for AOL when they reached an expanded alliance in December 2005.

The move is an extension of the strategy AOL embarked on last summer, in which it began moving away from its roots as a dial-up service provider to become an ad-supported media network.

Many
advertisers buying AOL’s display ads, or performance-based ads through
Advertising.com, have expressed an interest in buying search ads that
target that same audience, Dariusz Paczuski, VP of Search Products, AOL
Platforms, told ClickZ.

"These advertisers have been working
with us on display and performance-based ads, but we’ve had no answer
for search," he said. "Now we’re able to offer a complete solution."

Paczuski noted that AOL’s own research, as well as multiple third party reports, have noted a boost in performance when advertisers buy both search and display ads.

AOL
will continue to share revenue from ads on its network with Google,
though Paczuski declined to say whether the arrangement changed with
this new implementation. This is the first time Google has offered a
white-label version of the AdWords platform.

Plans for a
white-label version of AdWords have been in the works for more than a
year. A beta version was introduced to a set of 20 to 30 advertisers in
December 2006, and most of those advertisers have renewed their ad buys
and increased their spend on the platform, Paczuski said.

AOL
has also made some changes to its shopping search and local search
products. At shopping.aol.com, comparison shopping results previously
supplied by Shopzilla have been replaced by results from new partner
Pricegrabber. A new AOL Local Search beta has also been launched,
sporting a combination of results from AOL-owned MapQuest, AOL
CityGuide, and Yellow Pages business listings.

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