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AOL to Open Search Marketplace April 7, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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It’s been a truism for years that AOL searchers convert better than average. Now, marketers well be able to find out for sure. As Google’s best distribution partner, AOL has been able to cut a deal to sell its paid search results separately. Marketers will presumably pay a premium for keywords used by searchers on AOL’s site, and see if the results bear out. (They could still be out-bid by marketers coming from Google’s own AdSense marketplace.)

What this does is allow AOL to cobble together search, display, and sponsorship campaigns for its best advertisers, as well as perhaps juice its own search revenues. The way AOL described to Jupiter how you’d manage such a campaign sounds pretty hand-crafted at this point. It’s not the campaign-management Swiss Army knife Microsoft is trying to build with AdCenter. But this initiative should boost AOL’s ad business, which is already running in high gear.

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