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Google to power AOL Search - Part 2

 11:03 pm on May 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Continued from Google to Power AOL Search [webmasterworld.com]

Thanks for all the kind words for Google. A lot of googlers have worked behind the scenes to make this happen, and everyone at the company is grateful for their efforts. We're excited to be working with AOL--we want all our partners to be happy with our services.

I said a while ago that 2002 was going to be an exciting year! :)



 11:41 pm on May 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

Cheers! :)


 11:41 pm on May 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>I said a while ago that 2002 was going to be an exciting year!

Some of my WebMasterWorld buddies seem to be excited over this news. Me, I think it's merely interesting. To be exciting, it would have to make me wanna slap my mama. :)



 1:12 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

With pure Google results under "Matching sites", or tainted with undisclosed paid listings like aol is doing right now?


 2:36 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

On Google it definately helps to "optimize" a site but IMHO, the optimization that needs to be done is not jut for the engine. It's done for the people who search and those that use the site.

Write your site copy in the language of your target audience and in addition to improving targeted rankings, once people get to your site they will have a much easier time finding whatever it is they are looking for.

Provide contextual links in the right context and make a site easier and more intuitive to navigate and as an aside it might help your rankings.

Google is designed to benefit sites that are created around the way people think. To create a site with the target audience in mind from the start isn't SEO, its common sense. If its necessary to resort to spam techniques the site probably needs a re-design with the help of a common sense consultant.

Google helps break through the marketing verbiage so prevalent in the off-line world. You can find what you look for on (in) your terms. Of course there are always exceptions, most most of the time it just works.



 3:39 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Google is designed to benefit sites that are created around the way people think. To create a site with the target audience in mind from the start isn't SEO, its common sense. If its necessary to resort to spam techniques the site probably needs a re-design with the help of a common sense consultant.

Minor disagreement. Google seems to reward simple, linear site designs. The use of tables can enhance the visual aesthetic of a site in addition to making it more useful to the user. In the case of say three vertical tables, Google will prioritize content in the first table, top to bottom, relegating content at the top of table three as less important than content in the bottom of table one. Also, a link analysis of simple html sites versus sites of jsp pages shows that Google finds and catalogs simple html pages easier and more often and thus enhances the linking component of the algo. And (opinions welcome here) a literal interpretation of the cloaking clause would lead one to believe that if the nature of the content that is cloaked resides somewhere on the website, it is within their acceptable boundaries. Interpreted another way, this shows clear intent to penalize sites that might cloak the word "sex" on a site to drive traffic when it really sells baby products. Cloaking the names of baby products that are represented deeper in the site should be ok. As for a one SE world, "there is nothing that corrupts so absolutely as absolute power." As power will intoxicate the once fair-minded individual, so it will the beloved SE.


 3:43 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Skibum is absolutely right. The better the experience for the visitor the more bookmarks and return visits. Those return visitors come to you direct and not via PPC.


 4:53 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

wolverine - agreed, Google likes simple site designs. It seems like users do too (just my opinion). As for tables, that's a good point as well. Style sheets may come to the rescue in that arena. For the most part (again just personal experince) tables can usually be structured to place content higher on the page.

When it comes to cloaking. I think the beauty of Google is that if someone looks for a specific baby product or specific any product, there is a good chance Google can bring the searcher right to the exact page of a site on which that product is listed.

Cloak the home page to show up for that search, and it may be nice for that site to get the click, but the conversion may be much more likely to happen ( and "user satisfaction" higher) if the visitor lands on the very page that relates to the query instead of a homepage.

Though they are tightening relevancy standards, searching for a specific product and landing on a company home page is (again IMO) one big differentiator of Overture and other PPCs when compared to Google. Google can often nail the specific page with the info, whereas PPC often goes to the homepage. This PPC trend tends to be the case with AdWords as well.

Say someone wants to find a "Rhode Island mortgage" for example, Google search results will find a more specific page, whereas the AdWords and many Overture results often send the searcher to a homepage.

"The Strength is in the Search Results" is definately the tagline of the wrong company."


 5:00 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yeah baby! Yeah! Go google! Go google!

All about supply and demand which equal Google.

Finally people will find the results that they're searching for instead of blatant ads. Which means users are less likely to drop AOL services. Now AOL has dialup, broadband, and relevancy.

Let Microsoft stick with Ink and L$ since those companies fit Microsoft's image so well, high cost for services while supplying useless content.


 7:52 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Is it true that there is some link between AOL and Google (I not talking about the current deal). Something about one company or person linking the two companies together.

I'll get more info on what I mean today.


 7:54 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

The worst side effect of this deal? All the reporters who think it is still uber sheik to start any story about aol with "you got"...eg: you got google...


 8:19 am on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ok. I've got the link now, although unconfirmed, it came from a reliable source.

When Google was raising money (years back) one of the investors was AOL. This is what has surprised me about this deal taking so long. AOL actually owns part of Google.


 1:24 pm on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Brett said in Part One:

MMT, that other thread is not to say that there isn't traffic on AOL. Those that have been to the AOL mountain under quality kw's, know there is killer traffic there. What traffic there is on AOL right now, is going to Overture, and those that can pull a top 5 ink listing ($$). With Google on AOL, that traffic will come back and be distrubuted more evenly.

This is the only part of this whole thing that's bothering me. AOL does bring good traffic for certain search terms, in fact in some cases equal to what Google's been delivering for them. There has been at least some alternative available to those who have ended up with PR0 and lost their Google traffic, if they can land a decent Ink ranking. Now they'll be dead in the water altogether.


 1:55 pm on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

I made the post Brett refered to somewhat tongue-in-cheek!

I agree with you Marcia, I'm very aware that you can get excellent traffic from AOL. I've been receiving the benefit of it for some time. It really was useful to have a source of good traffic when the PR0 blues hit - instead of being over-dependent on a single source.

However, I'm pretty pragmatic and will congratulate Google on pulling this deal out of the hat and surprising many of us. I even committed to a further $750.00 per month on my AdWords Select budget on the strength of it - and will probably up that significantly in certain areas which target the AOL demographic. I'm always a sucker for paying search engines money and am looking forward to giving Google more when they eventually roll out other services. I just am not sure I can take the monthly 'Google-dance' nail-biting much more now it effects 3 good sources of traffic.

Can't I pay for daily spidering, GoogleGuy please? At least then I wouldn't have to wait 2 months to see if I've blotted my copy book and wonder why or when :) I've no problem in helping Google get rich off my labours!


 2:31 pm on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think it would be cool if Google became more "AOL like." There are not enough buttons and colors on Google, which makes it no fun. See how Google says "You've got search" on their homepage right now? I say they should leave it. Wouldn't it be cool if they changed the graphic too: Google - You've got Search!!! Better yet, have that cute voice that says "you've got mail" every single time you log into AOL to remind you to pick up your spam say "you've got search" every time you do a query on Google. Do that, and perhaps some falling Flash snow on the homepage mixed with a catchy theme song playing in the background, and they'll be all set.


 2:37 pm on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

......and pop ups that hide the search box


 2:48 pm on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree with Marcia. It has the potential to "kill" a website very quickly that innocently gets dropped from Googles results for a month. I am all for filters but what about the sites that getted dropped for no apparent reason :(


 7:45 pm on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

well i'm kind of dubious as to how much this will affect SEO.

to me, i never saw much aol traffic at all, across a wide range of sectors, with top results in inktmoi.

it was my understanding that aol users primarily find results in aol's little enclosed "aol keyword" world.

so i am dubious as to how much this will change things IF most aol users don't get presented with google results straightaway, but have the usual internal world as default. (kind of like what mmt was saying)


 8:51 pm on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

Great news, well done Google !



 9:51 pm on May 2, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>it was my understanding that aol users primarily find results in aol's little enclosed "aol keyword" world.<<

My logfiles show about 12% of my visitors coming from AOL, but I'm lucky if 1 search referral in 2,000 is from AOL search. So those AOL users are finding their way to my site in one way or another--most likely with Google or Ask Jeeves, which together account for more than 95% of my referrals.


 2:07 am on May 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

What entities does AOL own online? CNN, Time, Netscape are a few off the top of my head.

I wouldn't be surprised if in the coming years those branded companies will be key selling points for AOL. AOL's campaign slogan could be sign up today for our services and view our sites "without ads and popups". I'm sure their business model is headed towards that direction already by making their internet sites intrusive to outsiders but convenient to subscribers. Then again I've never used AOL services so this might already be present.


 4:59 am on May 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Up to noew we have assumed that the Google dmographic is for b-to-b, professional, web savvy and more educated, and AOL is great for consumer goods, shopping etc. Now if our adwords are going on AOL will that dilute our click throughs? More exposure is great, but return on click is prime.

As far as normal results going in AOL, maybe this will, over time, make the AOL demographic profile more broad, as they start to appeal to the google demographic as well, <b>if</b> search becomes one of their key brand strengths.


 2:42 pm on May 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

If Google makes it possible to segment the apperance of AdWords on their selected partner sites - say I want to hit a more consumer related audience on AOL but don't want them to appear on Google - then that gives them a leg up on Overture.


 11:50 pm on May 3, 2002 (gmt 0)

Google is a great (the best) search engine presently - I agree. Be wary though everyone - as google grows and grows and grows you will be more and more at their mercy. You had better pray that other engines step up and compete or the Internet will degrade over the years. Sure, google is helping improve the Internet - over time though (in my opinion) they will own lots of the net - controlling it - thereby making us less free...we will become peasants in their kingdom. I'm afraid many people here are not seeing this - they are cheering as overture goes down - inktomi, etc. - thank god excite got rid of displaying ppc results only - perhaps they will come back from the dead. Hopefully Teoma & wisenut step up more, etc.


 4:06 pm on May 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

After major deliberation, I have decided to come forward and save AOL tremendous amounts of money and bandwidth. This type of advice usually isn't given away for free.

Source code enclosed. Just copy and paste the code.

<form name=gs method=GET action=http://www.google.com/search>
<INPUT TYPE=hidden name=num value=50>
<INPUT TYPE=hidden name=hl value=en>
<input type=text name=q size=31 maxlength=2048 value="">
<input type=submit name=btnG value="Google Search"></form>


 8:06 pm on May 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

I've been waiting for this to happen......

I've noticed a signifcation slowed in results returned from google, and now....

I'm trying to log into the "Adwords Select" to view our account and voila "cannot find server"

The amount of traffic going throught this point has to be massive.

Anybody else been seeing a problem?


 9:11 pm on May 5, 2002 (gmt 0)

Don't get me wrong, I'm a Googlite, I've been with them since their birth.

My only concern is a little too much too fast!


 1:52 pm on May 7, 2002 (gmt 0)

Does anyone know if there's a site on the web that you can get the "walled garden" version of AOL SERPs? I have heard that it is different to the Aol.com results. I want to monitor the Google results on AOL but avoid installing the crippling AOL software if I can avoid it.

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