I have been really busy since returning from New York, so I have not had a chance to test the new AOL Search Marketplace yet. At Search Engine Strategies Yahoo had a booth and did a drawing for a free Mini Cooper to promote it. I was suprised to have heard nothing of it before this (may be I am living in a shell, but I read quite a few blogs.)
Previously, Adwords ads were syndicated through AOL.com. You really did not have an option whether to target them specifically or exclude them. So whats the big deal here? The deal is, in my experience, AOL has exceptionally strong conversions. In other words, you can now target AOL specifically and make bids based on AOL.com conversion data. Previously you were, in effect, bidding on a “pile” of traffic with AOL included. This may even allow you to drop your Adwords bids to make up for fewer conversions.
AOL Search Marketplace uses Google Adwords technology behind it. Officially, its a Adwords white labelled solution. This means you won’t be using a buggy and/or crippled piece of garbage like MSN and Yahoo have been in the past.
Add this to your list of high quality PPC traffic sources: Google, Yahoo, MSN, and now AOL. On the downside, it does not appear to be publicly available yet. They probably want to give eBay and Amazon a chance before getting bombarded by ringtone affiliates.