This was embargo’d till Monday, but AOL just told me the embargo was broken so I can post it now. AOL has worked with Google to execute a white label version of AdWords that allows AOL advertisers to target only AOL audience members. The benefit to AOL is that they get to cross sell their Ads.com and display advertisers into AOL Search. This is the first such white label deal I’ve seen done, though there may be others (I have a mail into Ask to see if they are doing it.)
From a draft of the release:
AOL today announced the launch of the AOL Search Marketplace, which is available to select AOL advertisers giving them the chance to buy sponsored links specifically targeting the AOL search audience ( http://search.aol.com ). The service, built on Google AdWords™ advertising technology, extends the suite of advertising solutions AOL can offer to marketers.
“Our advertising clients have told us they wanted the ability to target their search advertising to users of AOL Search, and now with AOL Search Marketplace we can offer this service,” said Mike Kelly, President, AOL Media Networks. “We have found that there is a significant impact when search and display campaigns are coordinated. The addition of the AOL Search Marketplace enables us to offer advertisers end-to-end solutions, everything from AOL to our industry leading third-party display network to video advertising and performance ads. This will let marketers better coordinate their advertising, and build greater efficiencies into their campaigns, with AOL.”
AOL® Search Marketplace uses a white-label version of Google AdWords®, providing advertisers the ability to buy search advertising that solely targets the AOL Search audience on the AOL® Client applications and AOL.com®. This service uses the same best-of-breed functionality, features and reporting that advertisers have come to expect from Google AdWords. Until now, advertisers did not have the ability to segment and optimize traffic coming from AOL.
The new Search Marketplace is a result of the expanded five year strategic relationship AOL and Google entered into in December 2005. AOL test marketed AOL Search Marketplace with about 30 advertisers over the previous five months.
I spoke with Dariusz Paczuski, who manages AOL Search Marketplace. He told me that most of those beta advertisers have re-upped and increased their spend with AOL due to this new product.
Google tells me that the rev share between the two companies has not changed. They also issued this statement to me:
“As a valued partner we look forward to working closely with AOL as they roll out the AOL Search Marketplace to more advertisers. We believe this offering will enable AOL to present a more comprehensive advertising opportunity to their customers.”
AOL also announced two other related search products:
AOL Local Search ( http://local.aol.com ): Currently in beta, AOL Local Search incorporates technology from MapQuest – the Internet’s No. 1 mapping site, editorial from AOL’s CityGuide and geo-targeted advertising, to make it easy to find locations and reviews for local businesses, bars, restaurants, and more.
AOL Shopping and Commerce Search ( http://shopping.aol.com ): AOL teamed up with new shopping partner, PriceGrabber.com, to provide a highly relevant comparison search experience, giving consumers access to an extensive catalog of products and services.