I have an AOL Hometown website which I started in 1998. Last year I cancelled my AOL membership and placed the website and some other websites on my own domain. I asked AOL if the Hometown website would disappear when I cancelled my membership. I was told "yes," so I didn't try to update the site before my membership expired. Now The old AOL site is still near the top of Google search, but the new version of the site still is difficult to find at all. Most of the content is still the same except for contact information and links. Does anyone know if there is any way of updating or redirecting the AOL page? Would adding new pages to the site on my domain make it show up better in searches?
AOL hometown sites are difficult to deal with. They are not very portable. You could delete the content before cancelling your AOL account. This would help avoid the duplicate content issues. Feel free to pm me for more info.
I've never used an AOL site, but I have moved a site from a similar sort of host.
I put a redirect in the header of each page, as well as a robots "noindex" meta statement, and changed the body to a message to gve the new URL. I did this because there was a couple of months overlap between the new site being set up and the old site's subscription running out.
I'm glad I did this, because, although the move took place some four years ago now, the old pages are still accessible. There are even one or two sites that still link to the old address - despite a series of emails when the move first tool place.
I would now recommend doing this as a routine if you have to move addresses. Just in case.
I'm sorry that I have no idea what to do once the subscription has expired. But I think others should take warning from the story.
Surely there should be some sort of copyright issue involved here? If it's content that you created, surely AOL are infringing on your rights by continuing to publish it after you have moved your account? You will have to check the terms you originally signed up to just to be sure, though.
As for getting the rest of the internet to update their links, good luck with that. It takes ages, and in maybe half of all cases it will never happen. For links going back as far as 1998 you will really have your work cut out.