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Amazon.com Reportedly Considering Ad Network

Amazon.com is reportedly looking for beta testers for a possible contextual advertising network that would place third-party links to products on the online retailer's partner Web sites.

Chris Beasley, founder of Website Publisher, said in his blog that he was invited to join the online retailer's test as a member of the Seattle company's associates program. Amazon.com associates display links to the retailer's products on their Web sites.

Beasley said Amazon.com planned to test a program similar to Google Inc.'s Adsense, which is a network of Web sites that display links to Google advertisers. The links are for products and services related to the Web site's content. Google shares revenue from the advertisers with site operators.

Amazon.com was not immediately available for comment.

The online retailer would place on associates' sites third-party sponsored links, not just links to Amazon.com products, Beasley said. Amazon.com has apparently extended its Jan. 31 deadline for signing up for the test, and has upped its offer to people who sign up to $100 from $50.