Ad business a boon for Amazon but a turn-off for shoppers

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon’s fast-growing advertising business is becoming a problem for some shoppers.

Sponsored ads are flooding Amazon’s search results, making it harder to find the products customers are searching for. The ads show up at the top, middle and the bottom of its search listings, as well as within pages for other products.

Holiday shoppers may notice more of them: In September, Amazon began putting three sponsored ads at the top of its search results, up from two, according to Marketplace Pulse.

Amazon has turned its online store into an advertising powerhouse in just a few years. It overtook Microsoft last year as the third largest ad platform in the U.S., according to eMarketer.

But the ads risk betraying Amazon’s customer-friendly reputation and irritating shoppers.

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