Almost as soon as it was officially launched, the Amazon Text Ads program is being discontinued. According to an email advertisers received this afternoon, Amazon will shut down their text ad program effective October 31st, 2015, the same day that they will discontinue Amazon Product Ads.
When originally announced on August 11th this year, Amazon Text Ads were positioned as a replacement for Amazon Product Ads, as Text Ads were introduced simultaneously with the announcement that Product Ads would be discontinued.
A more likely possibility was that Amazon Text Ads were meant to replace the Google search partner ads that currently appear at the bottom of some Amazon search results pages. This is the scenario that the Wall Street Journal described over a year ago.
Now the question is what happens with those Google ads on Amazon results? Will Amazon decide to forgo ads altogether in order to keep more customers on its site? If so, it could have a material impact on a number of Amazon's retail competitors as Google text ad clicks from Amazon.com are often a significant traffic source.
Looking at Merkle|RKG data, we've found that search partner clicks from Amazon make up about 1% of retailers' Google search ad traffic, but many individual sites see a much higher figure than that. Maybe Google and Amazon have worked something out, or maybe that traffic source is on the way out.