Amazon is considering adding a sponsored links element to its affiliates scheme; a move into the world of paid search, the market that has fuelled Google's astronomical revenue growth in the past several years.
The point would be to give one million members of the Amazon Associates program another way to generate revenue, Amazon said.
"We believe that by working with a third party to provide Associates with links to relevant websites, in addition to products on Amazon, we can help them make more money from their sites," Amazon.com said in the statement.
The company is testing a scheme that lets its associates carry contextual ads distributed by an undisclosed Amazon.com partner on its websites.
The trial is called Amazon Associates Sponsored Links Program, and testing began on January 27, according to an Amazon.com statement.
Associates taking part in the sponsored links trial get paid when a visitor to their site clicks on one of the contextual ads. Associates will receive ads that are contextually relevant to the content and nature of their sites.