Amazon Ending Pay-Per-Click Ad Program That Took Shoppers To Other Retail Sites, Creates Text-Only Ads

Amazon changed the way it provides sponsored links, instead of showing photos, the company now provides simple text links.

Amazon will change the way it provides sponsored links, instead of showing photos, the company now provides simple text links.

Smaller retailers who pay to have ads appear on the bottom of Amazon search results will soon see less of their products and more text, as the e-commerce giant prepares to shutter a pay-per-click ad program that took shoppers away from its site. 

The Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog, citing an email sent to Amazon advertisers, reports that the e-tailer will stop showing ads at the bottom of search results that when clicked takes shoppers to other small retailers’ websites starting on October 31.

Product Ads, as the former program was called, often directed customers to smaller retailers that offered specialized services but might not actually sell on Amazon.

According to Amazon, the company generally made anywhere between 10 cents and $2.05 in per-click fees from those advertisers.

But the company isn’t doing away with outside advertisements – and their revenue – all together. In place of Product Ads, which featured photos of products linked to outside retailer sites, Amazon will offer simple text ads running along side product searchers.

A spokesperson for Amazon confirmed the changes, nothing that the company is “constantly reviewing the services we offer partners to help them best reach our customer base.”

The company didn’t offer an explicit explanation for its change, but the Digits blog suggests the move might be a challenge to Google, which has placed a handful of links at the bottom of many search results.

Amazon has previously attempted to cut into Google’s online ad market share by introducing its own programs to place ads on sites other than its own.

The company’s new method, dubbed Text Ads, will likely push Google off Amazon’s site altogether, Digits reports.

Amazon Tweaks Ads On Its Site, in Possible Challenge to Google [The Wall Street Journal Digits Blog]

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