On Monday, AOL plans to announce the launch of its new AOL Search Marketplace, an AOL branded version of Google's search advertising platform, dubbed AdWords. AOL Search Marketplace aims to let advertisers target their ads specifically at AOL's audience. It includes the ability to place and coordinate a variety of different ad formats. AOL has been test-marketing the new system with some 30 advertisers over the past five months. The AOL Search network, which includes of AOL.com, Netscape, CompuServe, and others, brought in 36 million unique visitors in February 2007, according to comScore Networks. AOL's ad revenue for the fourth quarter of 2006 was up 49% from the same time period in 2005.
AOL renewed its relationship with Google in December 2005, to the dismay of Microsoft. Dariusz Paczuski, VP of search products at AOL, declined to comment on when that deal expires or whether the creation of AOL Search Marketplace, which depends on Google technology, might lead to a renewal of that deal. "The relationship [between AOL and Google] is quite comprehensive and it is quite strong," he said. AOL also plans to announce two new AOL Search services that it rolled out recently without fanfare: AOL Local and AOL Shopping. AOL Local is a local search tool based on MapQuest technology and content from AOL CityGuide. AOL Shopping is an e-commerce service powered by Pricegrabber.com, a new search partner for AOL.
News source: InformationWeek