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AOL Results - Disappointing.

 4:52 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

It's been a few months now since AOL switched to Google. I was looking at stats, and I'm disappointed. I was expecting more of a bounce from it. For example, Google.xyz is kicking out a couple thousand referrals to a few sites, search aol about a hundred. Appears to be some sort of algo changes on aol lately?



 5:06 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

I had reverse here. But it could be explained to TV adds AOL lauched a couple of months ago here in Québec.

AOL recently killed third party pop-ups. It is an improvement. But MSN just announced the same.


I guess MS marketing will steal more AOL users soon.


 5:07 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

I just kind of had the opposite feeling here. Comparison of a site that already had a high AOL listing (when it was Inktomi) and a high listing on Google - AOL hits were very low in comparison.

I guess that this told me on the front end that a Google switch would not give any kind of a boost. In fact, I was hoping that AOL would not switch to google because it put more eggs in that single basket of mine.

Bottom line for me is that the AOLers just don't search. And what about the effect of the AOL keyword stuff. If a keyword is entered there in the search bar, I assume that the google results would not show up? Just a thought, I can't test it because I don't have an AOL account anymore.


 5:09 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Regular hits are also a lot lower for my sites than I expected. But my AdWords hits showed a nice uptick, with AOL nearly 60% of the total in one campaign.

Those AOL'ers really like the top of the SERP!


 5:17 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Had a fair jump at AOL, but this was more to market demographics. Public education is intimately tied to AOL in the US, with AOL as the primary ISP it stands to reason that many would prefer their Search and Directory.

Google (3000 - 3500 daily) is still the clear lead though with AOL and Yahoo (each 800 - 1000) a distance tie.


 6:17 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing the same thing as Brett. So far this month, I've had just 1200 from search.aol.com - it ranks just ahead of google.co.uk (1100) but well behind google.ca (2600). Other comparisons: www.google.com 30000, search.yahoo.com 8200, search.msn.com 3500, www.altavista.com 2300, etc.


 6:28 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

I see people at Google really like books danny!

Google.ca must be a fib though - Canadian's don't read much... the light melts the igloo!


 6:32 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

I used to have a lot more aol referrals when Ink was providing the results, even though my ranking are basically the same in both google and Ink. Currnelty google outranks AOL by 6 to 1 for "AOL type" products.


 9:07 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Looking into october stats for one of the search terms I see:
1. google.com 26,004
2. yahoo.com 11,813
3. aol.com 3,462
4. google.de 3,028
5. google.ca 2,074

aol results are poor, yahoo results are comparable to google itself but they started send traffic later in October. Results are from adult search term.



 10:42 am on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Could this be a proxy cache effect?

Is AOL using a very aggressive caching tactic, maybe caching many dynamic pages?

If this was the case, the new visitors would not appear in your logs.


 2:56 pm on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yesterday I got more than 1,500 referrals from Google, another 600 or so from Yahoo, 300+ from MSN, 80 from AltaVista, and just 55 from AOL Search.

I got more referrals from Google (France) than I did from AOL.


 3:04 pm on Oct 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

7549 - google
826 - msn
127 - aol

never did like aol.


 1:10 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I also get much lower traffic from AOL - BUT, for commercial sites, AOL traffic is GOLD.

It converts better than Google & Yahoo traffic. I guess they're newbies and more willing to buy the first thing they see.

We get about 15% conversion from AOL, as opposed to 2% from Yahoo and 3% from Google.

So the advantage of AOL traffic is that if you have a commercial site - they're BUYERS.

Also - tip: some adwords results are excluded from AOL based on words used in the title and description. If you create a site that contains the target "idea" without the keyword, it'll get displayed in the AOL serp's while all others are excluded.

Also, the recommended sites listings are dirt cheap - and with amazing conversions.


 1:18 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

It could mean that your average aol'er is smarter than previously thought and knows how to crack open a different browser.

Have to do dns lookups to get the real aol #'s.


 1:39 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree john. I haven't done this since the switch, but before it happened I checked my search engine referrals from AOL IPs and a lot came from www.google.com


 1:46 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

2_much, you said

Also, the recommended sites listings are dirt cheap - and with amazing conversions.

I am not familiar with these -- are these some sort of paid ad placement -- and if so -- where? AOL, google? Any details appreciated!




 1:48 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am also very dissapointed in the AOLoogle traffic. My commercial site only gets about 8-10% of traffic from AOL.... I was thinking it would be more around 20-25%.

I also do not buy into the idea that surfers from AOL are more likely to buy than those from Google, all things being equal. I have a little survery when checking out (which is optional, and the default is NOT Google), and people always seem to tell me they came from Google. Unless they know AOL results are Google. My stats also confirms that the majority of my sales are from Google, and that sales are roughly proportional to the source. So AOL/Google/MSN/Y! pretty well converts all the same for me.

I think Google users may be more prone to buy since they are searching for more specific things and therefor likely to buy what they are searching for? Just my little theory.


 1:56 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ah, I guess it always boils down to your product/target audience.

I have a financial site that ranks well everywhere, but most of the sales come from MSN.

Yet AOL, for us, typically sends a good amount of orders regardless of the website and the product that ranks.


 2:01 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

2_much, you also mentioned you used "Recommended sites", right?

Perhaps this is contributing to your higher conversions? Because you are already "pre-qualified" by AOL? You mentioned it was for a financial site. If it is credit cards, loans, etc, then perhaps that is why. Isn't competition fierce? :) With AOL "recommending" you, it may bring a lot of credability to your company.

What's the "recommended sites" pricing structure like, anyways? Is it based on search terms? How much? :)



 2:13 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am not an AOL user -- where do the recommended sites show up on AOL? I am interested in any details on this (as I said above). :-)



 2:31 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Go to AOL.com and search for anything with lots of traffic, it should be on top, above where adwords is displayed.


 2:48 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

OK, thanks, I do see it. I am interested in the cost, if it is a paid listing.


 3:14 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

It's been a few months now since AOL switched to Google. I was looking at stats, and I'm disappointed. I was expecting more of a bounce from it.

You know Brett if you are talking about the traffic to this site I really wouldn't think you'd get much. I mean how many aolers are looking for the type of info that is here?

Now if you were selling hawaiian shirts I'm sure you'd be happier with the traffic. :)


 3:39 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

selling hawaiian shirts

I sell something almost as obnoxious as Hawaiian shirts and the AOL traffic is weak at best.


 3:52 am on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

The Sponsored Links: links are actually Google Adwords listings. They are still fairly reasonable priced for many important key words (important to me, anyway.)


 12:53 pm on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Same as Brett. The AOL results are a real yawn... even with a #3 rank at Google.


 1:13 pm on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

AOL -"anyone on line?" :)


 1:26 pm on Oct 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

AOL has not given me more then 5% of visits a month the last 3-4 month, I realy thought that if google is updating there search that it would have been a great gain in visits, but nob. I still get about 65% of my visits from Google, so AOL just dont have the visits that it use to.


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