While News Corp. is saying they don't want to take on Google directly, the same cannot be said for a lot of other firms. Even as Google's latest earnings suggested that its own search results were doing better than its contextual search ads, it seems like a lot of others want a piece of that advertising pie. Yahoo has been beta testing a similar contextual solution and Microsoft is expected to launch something within a year. However, it seems to have caught some people by surprise that Amazon is also looking to start a contextual advertising program -- and not just pointing back to products at the Amazon store, but for advertisers to buy their own ads. If you hadn't noticed, Amazon seems to be moving into more direct competition with Google pretty rapidly. It should have been clear two and a half years ago when the company announced plans for its A9 search engine -- but many people still consider Amazon just an e-commerce play. Of course, that may actually hurt the company in this new offering. Some may be confused as to why they should buy ads with Amazon -- and without the search traffic that Google offers, there's less of a compelling sell for advertisers.
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