AOLs plans take shape

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2005-03-03 Print this article Print

AOL, which since the new year has revamped the features of its Web search and entered local search, next plans to incorporate what are called pay-per-call ads alongside its search results as early as the first week in April, said Gerry Campbell, vice president and general manager of AOL Search and Navigation. The Dulles, Va., company earlier had announced a partnership with startup Ingenio Inc.
San Francisco-based Ingenio provides a service for running sponsored links that link to a phone number for reaching an advertiser rather than to a Web site.
Advertisers then pay based on the number of phone calls they receive from consumers. Click here to read more about earlier pay-per-call efforts. While pay-per-click has been touted as a way to attract more local advertisers to search advertising, AOL is planning to display the ads throughout its search offerings. The initial launch will integrate pay-per-call ads on results from general Web searches, and soon after, they will be added within AOLs local search site, he said. Campbell called pay-per-call a "natural extension" of typical search ads where advertisers pay based on clicks and said they promise to provide advertisers with more qualified leads and a way to reach consumers who prefer phone interactions. AOL is still determining exactly how and where to features the new ads on results pages, he said. "But we will feature the ads so they are visible in the experience," Campbell said. "This is such a green field, and were trying to just jump in there with both feet." AOL partners with Google to power its general Web results and for running traditional sponsored links. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on enterprise search technology.

Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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