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Yesterday, America Online announced that it will be enacting a number of changes that will “position the company as the world’s largest and most effective advertising network.”

They’ll be doing this with what they call Platform A, an entity that, like Google Adwords, Yahoo!’s Search Marketing platform and Microsoft’s adCenter, will offer advertisers the chance to reach their potential customers through a network of web advertising. So is this any different? Or is AOL simply stepping up their efforts in the pay per click game? Well, first off, Google distributes paid links on AOL’s website and it’s Google technology that runs AOL’s search functionality. Google is also a 5% owner of AOL after its 2005 $1 billion investment. Platform A is not out to replace Adwords, but it will offer access to a whole new type of audience by leveraging already successful AOL advertising products.

According to comScore Media Metrix, Platform A is already reaching over 90% of the domestic online audience, and the platform is leveraging – the world’s largest network of third-party sites that are ready and willing to display ads. Additionally, AOL is bringing in some serious customer targeting features by integrating TACODA (a behavioral targeting company that AOL recently acquired). The platform will also buddy up with Third Screen Media (mobile media network), Lighteningcast (video ad serving) and ADTECH will round out the international ad serving.

We’ll be watching this one closely as it rolls out, and if you’re managing your pay per click advertising efforts, we suggest you do too!