Paid Search a Footnote in AOL.com Push

America Online will engage in a large search marketing effort that will include natural optimization and keyword buys on Google and Yahoo this summer. However, the company’s paid search campaign will be small in comparison with its offline media buy and its natural search efforts, according to a spokesperson.

The search marketing plans are part of a scheduled summer campaign to promote AOL’s new public content, which it’s expected to make available to non-subscribers in the coming weeks. The interactive campaign will also include display ads on a wide range of properties in AOL’s network and on external sites. Offline placements are planned for radio and print, but not television.

AOL said it will concentrate most of its search efforts on natural optimization, but will selectively buy keywords from Google, Yahoo and other search engines. These ads won’t attempt to drive Internet users to the AOL.com homepage, but rather will point people to specific content on the portal.

The company wouldn’t disclose planned spending for the campaign, though a company representative said a New York Times report that the portal would spend “tens of millions of dollars” on search was exaggerated.

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