Google Inks Paid Listings Deal with AOL Canada

Google announced on Tuesday a deal with AOL Canada to provide paid listings for the online service and on its portal.

The deal calls for Google to provide three paid listings, generated from Google’s 100,000 AdWords advertisers, under a “sponsored links” heading near the top of the AOL.ca and AOL service search results pages. The agreement complements Google’s year-old algorithmic search agreement with America Online that included AOL Canada. (AOL Canada is a strategic alliance between AOL and RBC Royal Bank.)

“We considered three suppliers and we choose Google because we concluded they were the best,” said Arturo Duran, AOL Canada’s vice president of interactive services. “It was easy to work with them because they already knew my engine.”

The companies declined to reveal the deal’s length or financial details.

The agreement marks a deepening of Google’s ties with AOL, its No. 1 distribution partner. Last May, Google inked a deal with AOL for its then-nascent AdWords paid listings program, in a blow to Google rival Overture Services. The company is by far the most important partner in its distribution network, which also includes Ask Jeeves and EarthLink.

AOL Canada no longer breaks out its subscriber figures from the 35 million AOL counts globally. In its last subscriber count, in the fourth quarter of 2002, AOL Canada had 500,000. According to comScore Media Metrix, AOL.ca was the 11th ranked Canadian portal, drawing 1.1 million visitors in April. The top portals in Canada, MSN (15.7 million visitors) and Yahoo (13 million), both use paid listings from Overture.

Despite AOL and Google’s relationship, Overture has maintained its partnership with AOL Europe for paid listings, expanding that partnership in February to include in some of its country portals’ search directories.

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