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This 189 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 189 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 > >     
Google on AOL

 2:57 pm on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

beta google on aol [dirweb01.search.aol.com]



 12:43 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

Abrexa_UK said: >> I can see the attraction in a way - there is little point serving up straight Google results, otherwise they may suffer the same problems as Yahoo; users migrate to Google. By providing a very filtered set of results, AOL is offering something different. I presume that they know their market pretty well, and feel that their users are happier in a US comfort blanket.

I think this is spot-on. If AOL serves up straight Google they will loose all but their most torpid users. AOL'ers that have a real thirst for exploring over the AOL horizon may already have switched to using Google. AOL may actually hope to recapture some of them. I can't blame AOL for that - they almost have to differentiate themselves.

vitaplease: I suspect you are right that many AOL'ers and many Americans will turn inward. It is a shame, but AOL caters to that market anyway.

Even though this is a beta, I suspect the default will remain at US hosted sites just to make things different. Most users will not know the difference.

The wording "Enhanced by Google" was carefully chosen for a reason. It should warn us not to expect pure Google results from the product.


 2:05 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

At this time, it show the Google logo and...the Google results!!

Had AOL staff a look at this forum?


 2:12 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yep - pure Google - albeit with pretty poor clustering on some SERP's - and as many international TLD's as you could shake a stick at. Exhale everyone. Pet peeve-mode - it's still full of cr**py junk-hyphen sites. Mat


 2:15 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree that this is no where near official yet, however, that doesn't mean it won't become official. I can't get over the fact that I can make unitedstates.com, make it the most complete US related website in the world, have it become the #1 most popular US site, use a web hosting company located in Canada because I like their prices, and it would not show up in these US only results.

I have another website that is very specific to a certain area here in New York. The only people that would EVER find this website useful are people who live in New York. The only people who would search for a site like this are New Yorkers. However, I host it with a company located in Canada which means (according to these results) anytime anyone in New York searches for something related to this site, this site would never come up. Luckily though, when someone in Canada searches, they will probably be able to find this site. Now that's quality huh?

Again, I agree that this is not even beta yet, but in case this does become the official results, I want Google/AOL to know exactly how bad it is, so hopefully something gets done about it.


 2:32 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

OK you can all relax guys!


 2:33 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

It's also great to know that when you do a search that you are more likely to find a business in your area. Though the new system may not prove to work perfectly, I find that Google often brings up results for companies that are based on another continent. When I'm trying to buy a product, I am much more comfortable buying in the US because:
1) I have better legal protection
2) I am supporting the country I live in
3) My credit card company can better protect me
4) The shipping time is faster
5) It's easier to contact the supplier
6) I'm sure there are many other reasons
If I want to find a company in another country, it's not that difficult, but it would be nice to know that I can search and find businesses that better meet the criteria above. To meet the needs of others, AOL could easily offer something like 'expand your search'.

If the Beta sticks, I'll be quite happy! It appears that this board has quite a few webmasters from the UK. That's fine, but I am one webmaster from the US that would stand to benefit. I'm sure I'm not the only one.


 2:34 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)


right on spot! Never underestimate our power!
Still I am glad to have vented my concerns..;)

Yep - pure Google

Mat, not quite, a little change in ranking here and there (irrespective of non-clustering) and those differences are not equal to any of the www1/2/3 googles.

Shows non-Us sites now as well.
Although sometimes, searching for foreign words gives no results, just pressing refresh several times does eventually reveal them. (at least at this moment).

pretty poor clustering on some SERP's

that makes it interesting, it could give a peek at how well your third, fourth and fifth page for that search query are placed should normal Google have allowed multiple listings..
Showing the the top six listings for your treasured search query, could mean that that your site is pretty topical and themed for that subject (and I keep on dreaming ;) )

Why did Google allow such a pre-release?

They wanted some fun tracking down the url's and keytargeted search phrases of the members here.
All part of the great conspiracy theory - Oliver Stone hasn't seen nothin.


 3:06 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

Netscape is still only showing US sites.


 3:13 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

i agree this is an absurd idea if it does go live... but a point to make...

I can understand having local results for aol.co.uk , aol.de and having the option to search the rest of 'the web'

But putting the restriction on non US sites on AOL's .COM site is ridiculous - why not have a USA site - aol.us perhaps

A .com name by no means a US site and having just US results on such would be silly!


 3:14 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)


We operate an e-commerce website from Canada and 95% of our customers are in the US.
Almost all those factors you cited as being a reason to like this new format, would easily apply to us.
We accept US credit cards for payment (through a US bank), shipping times are the same, our 800 numbers work in the US, you are legally protected, many of the goods we sell are made in the USA. Yet we are excluded from the SE.
Plus we have a "Free Trade" agreement with your country.
To be excluded is an insult, and we will just put up doorway pages (optimized to the max)on a US based server to get around this censorship.


 3:25 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am happy that results are about the same in Google.
AOL would have lost clients in the long term; think about how many international sites are useful for AOL users.

If you do not find what you are looking for in one engine, you switch to the next one. Do not give users the opportunity to switch.


 3:42 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

If those "host-filtered" results would have been the final product I have to agree that it would have meant terrible PR for Google. Some of those results were so poor you had to sift through 10-15 results before finding a decent web site.

I am glad that they have come to their senses. :)


 3:43 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

Everything Rugles says is correct dvduval. Do you imagine that we would not get around that? And if the gloves were really off, by whatever means were necessary? You don't win in the long term you know by building a wall around yourself to try to keep the competition out.

If AOL really want a US only search they should offer it as an option... not block their customers from seeing the real WORLD Wide Web.


 3:45 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

just did the www.aol.com from UK, listing google serps after adwords.


 3:51 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi All

We are an Ecommerce Company Physically located in the USA with our server located in Canada. The DomainName is a .com . As aof yesterday this thread had scared out of my wits. To think the AOL would filter results this way is unheard of. Then I tried it. As of yesterday we were also not in the AOL index. However as of this morning our site is listed in the serps I have done.

I have also noted that when I do a serp from aolsearch.aol.com it now says enhanced by google on the regular serps.

Anyone else seeing this?


 3:52 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yep, up and running and that stupid filter is gone.

So much for all that complaining.


 3:54 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

Plus it is an older database than what Google is using. Month old I think.


 3:55 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing .uk listings.


 4:17 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm showing [search.aol.com...] has the google results while aolsearch.aol.com has the inktomi results...Transition period?


 4:32 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

one of the aolsearch.aol.com servers has the new database on it, just hit refresh a bunch of times and you will see it!


 4:39 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

I notice that when you type in a company name or brand name, you often get the top 5-10 results all from the same site. Not necessarily on all searches, but enough to say that this is quite different from Google.

I knew I would be bashed for supporting US results. I've noticed that getting area specific results has been a topic elsewhere. I wouldn't be surprised if this type of thing becomes more common. We already know that Google is pursuing the ability to do this. In Atlanta, many of my points on my last post would apply to Canadian goods as well. I love Canada, but when I need something in a hurry, I would rather it be shipped from a closer source. Sending and receiving shipments regularly from all over the US and Canada, I can personally say that shipping is more expensive and takes longer. Local search results would have their merit even in the case of Canada. Conversely, when customers call from Canada to purchase product we often refer them to a Canadian distributor. It would be nice if the search engine did this for us.


 4:39 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

I love it.
For one of my keywords I am the top 10, the whole top 10.

AOL search Rocks.


 5:02 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

The #9 and #10 listing on Googles SERPS seem to be truncated on the new AOL for the keyword I am looking at. In this case, there are 2 AOL Keyword listings. I wonder if these have pushed #9 and #10 out? They do not apprear on the second page. It picks up again at #11.
Anyone else seeing this?


 5:03 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

>For one of my keywords I am the top 10, the whole top 10.
>AOL search Rocks.

Whew... I thought it was just me. I've got a couple of Top 10 of Ten listings, and even one Top Twelve of Twelve.

I don't expect it to last, but its A Rush nevertheless. :)


 5:07 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

good points about local results for the US.
I think it will come at some point. You will then have two search options: US and worldwide. Or even US, English language and worldwide.
This is what the rest of the world has anyway. And it does make sense with the rest of the world growing much faster than the US in number of sites online.


 5:09 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

even one Top Twelve of Twelve.

Wow nice one! Best I've got so far is top 7. I agree that it probably won't last, looks like it is picking up all internal pages that would naturally be ranked higher than the next result.

Could be good fun if it does stay - open to all sorts of abuse and interesting research :)

[edited by: olias at 7:17 pm (utc) on July 24, 2002]


 5:12 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)


For a line we carry we are the top 70, the top 70.
Gotta go and do a happy dance.



 5:50 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

One of my sites has positions 1 - 7 for a target two word phrase.

For a target 3 word phrase, my site and another site have over half of the top 30 positions.

I wonder how long it will stay like this, with the URL clustering off?


 5:58 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

I notice that when you type in a company name or brand name, you often get the top 5-10 results all from the same site. Not necessarily on all searches, but enough to say that this is quite different from Google.

From what I'm seeing, the "extra" results are appearing in the exact same order they would if one used the "More results from" link to see all the results from a domain. AOL's results are very Googlish, just with less clustering.

By the way, why is everyone is so surprised that AOL would consider filtering out non-U.S. sites? The Inktomi-version of their search always filtered out a lot of non-English sites in my test searches.


 6:05 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

Check these out. Notice that on AOL, the Google SERPS start after Atlantic City Arts. Also notice that #9 and #10 of the Google SERPS do not show up on AOL. They are skipped at the page break.




 6:11 pm on Jul 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

>By the way, why is everyone is so surprised that AOL would consider filtering out non-U.S. sites?

It doesn't surprise me in the least AOL would do this. The surprise was that Google would let AOL put their name and logo alongside these filtered/censored search results. Particularly as Google is trying to market itself, down the company name, as having the biggest and most complete search results. Imagine the brand contamination to Google with AOLers telling people they know: "You don't want to use that Google search engine. I have that on AOL, and they censor even the website of Prince Charles from the results."

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