Amazon Sponsored Links Seen as Direct Threat to Google AdWords

E-commerce giant tapping its data for ads

Amazon is taking control of its own advertising. The e-commerce giant has developed Amazon Sponsored Links to deliver ads on its properties based on keywords users search while shopping online, and other data.

Amazon already manages much of the digital display advertising on its website, Kindle tablets and mobile apps through its Media Group. The updated platform would let the company replace ads from other sources, particularly those supplied by Google AdWords, according to reports.

Amazon Sponsored Links could target ads based on users' habits and interests. As Reuters noted, "Amazon is known as a sleeping giant in the ad industry because it has rich consumer data but has been tentative about using it for a lot of advertising."

Amazon has not fully described how the new system would work, but a brief description from its Media Group site said: "Sponsored Links are advertisements related to your recent product search query or content on the page and are always clearly labeled. displays sponsored links sourced from third-party networks."

The Wall Street Journal reported that the e-tailer could ultimately deliver Amazon Sponsored Links outside its owned Web properties, creating a direct Google AdWords competitor.