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Amazon Trims Its On-Site Ad Network

8499712557_0c05691eb3_kAmazon is best-known for selling all sort of stuff out of their cavernous warehouses, but they’re not above selling space on their site to other retailers. That’s why they have a marketplace for 3rd-party sellers, and it’s why Amazon runs adverts on its own site (the same is true for Walmart) that link out to other retailers. And now Amazon is tweaking that ad platform.

WSJ and Reuters reported on Tuesday that Amazon is replacing the existing adverts on its site with a different type of advert:

Amazon is ending certain pay-per-click advertisements on its site that were a boon to some small retailers.

The company said it will stop showing ads at the bottom of search results that feature photos of merchandise, and when clicked, take visitors to other retail sites.

According to an email sent to Amazon advertisers and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Amazon said the move will take effect Oct. 31. In its place, Amazon will offer simple text ads running alongside product searches.

This particular ad platform is not to be confused with Amazon’s other ad platform which serves ads on outside sites (like this blog, for example).

I want to make that point because there is some speculation that Amazon made this change in order to better compete with Google. I don’t see how that could be the case; the ads on Amazon’s site are less of a threat to Google than the ads that sites like mine are served via Amazon.

Wait until the ads served by Amazon on this site stop leading to Amazon; that will be a sign that Amazon is competing with Google.

The changes to the ads on Amazon’s site itself, on the other hand,  has less to do with Google than with the fact the ads were effective at sending customers elsewhere – possibly too effective.

"We are disappointed with the news," Angela Hsu, vice president of Internet business and marketing at Lamps Plu, told Reuters. The company was featured in an Amazon case study in May which said the program increased its sales by more than 80%.

That’s a lot of money Amazon was sending to other retailers.

image by ell brown


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Maria (BearMountainBooks) August 13, 2015 um 9:26 am

I’ve clicked on them a number of times (both there and ebay). I don’t realize I’m leaving Amazon until I’m at the other site. They are pretty big and bold ads.

Nate Hoffelder August 13, 2015 um 9:42 am

I’ve clicked a couple times. I’m not happy with that; I didn’t want to leave the Amazon site.

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