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AOL Nears Major Deal With Google
engine




msg:1234580
 9:15 pm on Dec 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Time Warner Inc. is negotiating exclusively with Google Inc. to broaden a lucrative advertising partnership with Time Warner's America Online unit, abruptly ending negotiations early Friday with Microsoft Corp., officials close to the negotiations said.


AOL Nears Major Deal With Google
[wap.oa.yahoo.com]

 

tradervic




msg:1234670
 7:32 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Another thing is, if you just lost AOL to Google, what would you say if you were Microsoft? They beat us fair and square? Yes, we have umpteen billion dollars and we chose not to give AOL 1? No, you'll say they were pushed to do something "unethical". Believe me, Microsoft would have done whatever Google has agreed to do. Further, I don't believe Google will do anything "unethcial". This is just sour grapes crying over spilled milk. Microsoft screwed the pooch on this one, fair and square.

PS - It ain't signed sealed and delivered yet. Anything can happen and the fact that Time Warner has been using the press for negotiation simply means they put the story out there to get one last bid from Microsoft. I'm sure they are working on something as we speak.

Key_Master




msg:1234671
 8:11 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google wins the battle for AOL
[seattlepi.nwsource.com...]

joeduck




msg:1234672
 8:43 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

As long as Google merely helps AOL make its content more crawlable (as opposed to giving a boost to AOL content in organic search results), what's the big deal?

I'm floored by your (and many other's) level of comfort with this possibility, simply floored.

You are seriously suggesting that after a billion dollar negotiation Google simply promised to forward a copy of Webmaster Guidelines to AOL and invite them to WebmasterWorld conferences?!

If the story is *wrong* it's not big deal. If true, insider SEO from Google would be a major deparature from stated practices. If AOL travel started trumping your own pages would you feel the same? The Algo is far from perfect so any insider help will skew things rather than simply provide "better content".

tntpower




msg:1234673
 8:58 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

What a bad news. I wish it is M$, not G$.

europeforvisitors




msg:1234674
 9:02 pm on Dec 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

If true

Ah, the standard disclaimer of conspiracy threads.

Instead of speculating and contributing to the innuendo and hysteria, why not wait to see what the real story is?

joeduck




msg:1234675
 1:45 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

why not wait to see what the real story is?

Because THIS is more fun! But I'm also interested in Google and other people's reaction to the *NYT story itself* to see what other's think would compromise integrity of results.

Frankly, the story for me has changed from what Google plans to do, which I'm confident WILL NOT BE as stated in the article, to the reaction from sharp folks like yourself, who don't really seem to care if Google gives AOL content special treatment. This lack of concern surprises me greatly.

oneguy




msg:1234676
 1:45 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe Google will make AOL top serps for everything, 10 deep.

:)

If you're complaining now about google and sandboxes, etc, just wait and see.

Oh.... and someone changed the front page thread title.

People were talking about different things through 7-8 pages of this thread. If such a drastic change is going to made in the title, and then bumped to the top, you should probably make it a new thread. Otherwise, it unfairly discredits comments of those posting in the thread before the title was changed.

np2003




msg:1234677
 1:55 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Do not forget that AOL owns Netscape and IE killed Netscape. Also don't forget AOL had a big lawsuit with Microsoft that just ended a few months ago, on top of that, Google is already up and running while Microsoft is still in beta testing.

Also remember that parent company Time Warner, made $1billion in Google stock. I believe they still have a large investment in Google stock. They don't want to lose the deal with Google because if they annouce the Google split, Google stock would fall sharply.

europeforvisitors




msg:1234678
 2:46 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Frankly, the story for me has changed from what Google plans to do, which I'm confident WILL NOT BE as stated in the article, to the reaction from sharp folks like yourself, who don't really seem to care if Google gives AOL content special treatment. This lack of concern surprises me greatly.

I don't have any reason to believe that Google will give AOL *content* special treatment. Google may well give AOL free advertising (see the AP article that was referenced in another thread), but a "sponsored link" (a.k.a. an AdWord that points to AOL) isn't the same as special treatment in the search results. As for vague reports that Google will supply SEO help to AOL, I doubt very much whether such help (if it occurred) would involve "insider tips" or anything else that might give AOL an unfair advantage. But then again, I'm just one of those Google-worshipping syncophants who don't believe that Brin, Page, Schmidt & Co. are stupid. :-)

dodger




msg:1234679
 2:55 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Maybe AOL did a search on MSN looking for something important and found crap and pulled out, I would.

walkman




msg:1234680
 3:00 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

GoogleGuy is no doubt itching to get in and set the record straight, but he must wait till the ink is dry, and even then he might not be able to say much :)

joeduck




msg:1234681
 4:56 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

re: GoogleGuy -

I hope GG does check in on this - I'd accept his qualifications to the NYT story as the most accurate version of what will be going on with AOL.

We WebmasterWorld hobitses trustests GoogleGuy, we does.

EFV - you fine European dudemeister you - it's not spreading conspiracy trash to suggest that the NY Times article, along with extensive qualifications at the request of one of the most highly respected "google watchers" John Battelle, is alarming. The internet is changing at the speed of cash and one never knows what major sweeping change could be happening ... tomorrow.

GrendelKhan TSU




msg:1234682
 5:45 am on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is it any worse than attending search conferences (such as Brett's) and giving advice to site owners and SEOs who can afford to attend? They've been doing that for quite a while, and I don't see any Webmaster World members complaining.

gimme a break. I agree and said, there has got to more to the story than meets the eye....

but you can't seriously be comparing those who do SEO (stock brokers) with those to OWN the channel (the stock market).

more power to them cause they CAN and business is business (I'm all for that). but if the surface story is true (which we all admit it is probably just a tip of the iceberg of the "real story"), it DOES go against the basic foundation of perception and brand image that google was built on.

and perception can be EVERYTHING.

(ie: so yes, it is much much worse).

subway




msg:1234683
 12:24 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am shocked that this comes as a major surprise to a lot of you.
Google gave up ethics and any form of morals over a year ago.

Actually it was more than 2 and a half years ago when they first started to manipulate SERPS to up Adsense and Adwords revenue pre going public, and now finally their true motives are shining brightly through their cute and cuddly corporate fašade.

ElectroSoft




msg:1234684
 2:19 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

maybe AOL will get from google the great search ranking system, and in the mean while, google will proffit from AOL by showing ads and specially from the AIM because as you know Google Talk is not competative at all!

btw this is my 1st post in the forum :) hi all guys

gdawg




msg:1234685
 2:42 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am very concerned about this deal and the implications about giving preferred treatment in the natural search results. Hopefully, some of AOL's major competitors who spend millions of dollars in Google Adwords (Earthlink, Bellsouth, Pacbell, Comcast,etc..) will raise concerns over this and prevent this from happening. No matter what the outcome this sets a very disturbing precedent. I guess we will just have to monitor the situation and see what happens.

WebFusion




msg:1234686
 3:42 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Under the agreement, Google will remain the search engine on the AOL service with a revenue sharing from text-based ads provided by Google of about 80 percent to AOL and 20 percent to Google.

...kind of makes you wonder what our cut as content publishers is....my guess is it's not 80%...

As for MSn losing out....my guess is they looked at AOl's dwindiling numbers, took in account the fact that MSN search is going to be deeply entrenched into Windows Vista next year...and decided that it would be best to let someone else overpay for a property with an ever-shrinking market share. IMHO, this was a stop-gap measure by google to keep their market share percentage up as long as possible (as soons as it starts going, so will that rediculous stock valuation).

With MS's deep posckets, I wouldn't count them out of the search game by a long shot. They have a long and distinghished history of stomping on bright young companies (Netscape anyone?), and I don't think they're going to be sitting on their hands in this fight.

tradervic




msg:1234687
 4:28 pm on Dec 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's so funny hearing of everyone that reminds us that Microsoft is known for stomping companies, namely Netscape. Please remind me how much total revenue and net income Netscape made? Google is no Netscape.

mzanzig




msg:1234688
 9:08 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Part of the AOL problem could be that they do not have that much "own" content. A good deal of the content has been licenced from TW sources, and this would have to be paid in the future at premium rates - or could even be withdrawn once the deal is closed.

Sure, AOL've got eyeballs, and that's what counts here. I am just wondering why MSFT pulled out? This deal would have given their search a lot of traffic and subsequently also increased interest from webmasters and publishers.

Then again, for $1 billion you can do a LOT advertising for MSN Search. :-)

percentages




msg:1234689
 9:23 am on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

>With MS's deep pockets, I wouldn't count them out of the search game by a long shot.

Nor would I.

It appears Google is paying well over the odds for instant market share. MS is saying it won't compete, because it will in the long haul, without the hefty price tag associated with instant market share.

Time Warner paid too much for instant technology via AOL, and I now think Google is about to do the same.

I would have liked to have seen MS take over AOL, but, at the same time I think waiting and simply killing AOL might be a more cost effective approach.

One great thing you have to say about Gates and MS is that they don't seem to have time based adgenda. It is an Asian approach that winning might take many generations, and those that run the company today are prepared that they may not live to see it!

europeforvisitors




msg:1234690
 3:17 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am very concerned about this deal and the implications about giving preferred treatment in the natural search results.

A Google spokeswoman has said that isn't going to happen.

steve40




msg:1234691
 3:40 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I see the press has started to get hold of this article the FT states there could be concerns over G serps if this is implemented

Also looking at some other articles may be slightly different in that G has been testing and using for some time use of top spot on serps for a ( considered trusted resource )*** Authority *** with multiple other links from same site possibly G may make the decision that AOL / Time Warner is trusted resource on all things news / film / sport / Celebs / Music etc. etc.
so all the questions about SEO would not be relevent just place AOL Time Warner at the top slot automattically as they could be considered the authority site , so maybe the truth is exactly as G said make pages more spiderable then set AOL / TIME WARNER as authority in subject area

I don't think AOL / Time Warner could be stated as a travel authority currently but we can expect more of these types of deals so possible deals with companies like British Airways or American Airlines who could be considered authority in travel YOU GET THE PICTURE

I know many here think that G is a demigod and feel their major concern is small webmasters!
welcome to the world of shareholders and big business ladies and gentlemen

This would also fit into G's intent to have authority sites at the top
Who would be more of an authority on European Vacations than British Airways or any other holiday operator that G might buy a stake or do a deal with

steve

TinkyWinky




msg:1234692
 4:10 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think this is all ****sh&t personally...

Everything in life needs competition to a certain degree - and online competition makes companies work harder to please with innovation (or reworking existing ideas to make them miles better) in order to maintain or gain marlet share.

IMVHO the whole G thing is getting a bit scary.... too much power with one company

We need competition - so unless MS has plans to buy Ask Jeeves, or even Yahoo, then we could be in for a pretty bleak few years where G dictates most of online audience and traffic.

dusky




msg:1234693
 5:00 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

MS Eying yahoo?, think about it, G+AOL= a combined loyal users of 60+ of internet searchers, while MSN+Y= 90% of worldwide user base of free email (Y mail and Ho*mail), groups and instant messaging => easily convent to loyal searchers on one hand and PPC users combined means goodbye adwords, hence goodbye adsense and eventually G will be dreaming of AltaVista's current success!

europeforvisitors




msg:1234694
 5:32 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

This would also fit into G's intent to have authority sites at the top
Who would be more of an authority on European Vacations than British Airways or any other holiday operator that G might buy a stake or do a deal with

At the top of what search? I doubt if British Airways or any holiday operator could regarded as an authority on "European vacations," but even if that were the case, so what? Google is an index of pages, not a directory, and most people planning European vacations are searching on specific topics. So, even if BA got an artificial boost for "European vacations" or for searches in general, BA probably wouldn't rank at all for "Elbonian river cruises," "Montmartre apartment rentals," "Stockholm tunnelbana," "vicenza teatro olimpico," or "chocolate tours in Switzerland," because it probably wouldn't have content on those topics.

Of course, one could argue that a partner like British Airways (or AOL) might autogenerate millions of keyword-driven, template-based "content" pages, and that an artificial boost from Google would help those worthless pages rise to the top. But that isn't going to happen for a simple reason: Google isn't stupid enough to sacrifice its core product (search) for limited or questionable short-term gains. To quote THE NEW YORK TIMES, "Lynn Fox, a Google spokeswoman, said that no deals Google was contemplating would allow its search results to favor a particular company."

steve40




msg:1234695
 6:14 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors

I thought British Airways was a company that provided information for their travelers and I just did some checking , they have some great information on most of the major cities in europe including as an example Geneva
covering sightseeing tours of the city upcoming events
and much more
I would not consider British Airways as a scraper , but they could be considered as an Authority Travel Information site

My comments were not aimed at European Travel more the idea that G could define Authority as part of any partnership deal I used European Travel as just one example as many could believe that British Airways could be considered the Authority in that market.
The concept could equally apply to most areas of business including real estate , Auto etc. ,
Many businesses as part of their portfolio create usefull content for their visitors as part of their website and most I would not consider scraping
Another example may be A large realtor Coldwell Banker
who as part of the service their website provides school information and community information

All I am saying if G or any other SE do form business relationships with large corporations NOT SCRAPERS unless you do consider companies like British Airways as a scraping site part of those relationships could be to bestow Authority status .
This could not be considered evil providing any G relationship was with an existing authority , and you may not agree but I would consider BA to be an authority in travel not a scraper

I am not trying to upset anyone just thinking out loud of current implications and future implications of SE / Large Corporation tie ups it does not need to degenerate into a discussion on scrapers
Only on what we may or may not see could happen to the current SE world

steve

europeforvisitors




msg:1234696
 6:55 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

All I am saying if G or any other SE do form business relationships with large corporations NOT SCRAPERS unless you do consider companies like British Airways as a scraping site part of those relationships could be to bestow Authority status .
This could not be considered evil providing any G relationship was with an existing authority , and you may not agree but I would consider BA to be an authority in travel not a scraper

I'm not suggesting that BA is a scraper. But I don't think Google would ever regard an airline, tour operator, real-estate broker, etc. as an "authority" for search purposes even if it were an advertising or business partner--and certainly not because the vendor was an advertising or business partner. That would be like THE NEW YORK TIMES running front-page articles to promote its major advertisers. It just isn't going to happen with Google.

steve40




msg:1234697
 8:15 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors

You and I and most webmasters are intelligent surfers and may not consider BA as an authority but joe surfer has faith in the Major Retailers and Major Corporations this is one of the reasons those major retailers who have understood the internet and invested are doing better in online sales ( it's all to do with perception and consumer trust ) , If a dedicated site to travel had an article to xyz city or BA had some content or an article by New York Times if the searcher had not heard of the dedicated site who would they check first if their were 3 equal choices .

The reason this fits into what is currently happening with AOL / Time Warner is if someone enters the name of a movie does the Authority who produced the film always come top ( should that movie studio be considered the Authority ) I suspect from joe surfer the answer is yes , the problem is many of the largest corporations do not fully understand SEO or even want to but G possibly feels it is their responsibillity to place the movie studio top of the list ( also could be actor TV programme music etc etc ) So by combining business relationships with Authority status the movie studio would come up first .
and as G uses algo's only to determine serps the supposed authority unless defined would not always be first in results. In some of G's patent documents they are implying the use of authority as a way of determining rank , as a business by combining giving authority to partner as part of the deal they can kill 2 birds with one stone.
Lets try and take a real life example if we enter search query in G for a number of EU countries the countries tourist board is sometimes listed first together with a number of links to sections of the website when I checked one specific EU country 8 out of the first 10 had nothing to do with the country but were for anything but and not related
I think G and the other SE's may well start to use Authority more and if they can combine Authority with good business they will , That is the only reason I used BA as an example although the content available is not detailed and comprehensive it could be considered an authority by consumers as BA as well as selling flights arranges packages including hotels etc to that city .

steve

europeforvisitors




msg:1234698
 9:30 pm on Dec 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

British Airways could legitimately be considered an authority for "British Airways," or possibly even for "flights to the uk," but I don't think Google would ever give it preferential treatment for "British tourist information," "Great Britain," or "international travel"--not to mention the millions of long-tail search phrases for which BA's site wouldn't even have content.

At any rate, a Google spokeswoman has publicly denied that the deals being contemplated involve preferential treatment in Google search rankings.

King of all Sales




msg:1234699
 1:20 am on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

This just in from InformationWeek:

"As part of the deal, Google reportedly will feature links to AOL videos on its video search page without letting the user know that those links are effectively paid messages.

AOL will also reportedly get special links leading to its content on the lower righthand portion of Google search results pages, along with its logo. Technically, AOL will pay for these links, though it will do so with credits given by Google as part of the deal.

As Google watcher and author John Battelle told The Times, 'What they are giving away is the perception in the marketplace that Google isn't for sale.'"

werty




msg:1234700
 4:17 am on Dec 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I actually just read this [money.cnn.com]:
They also said they had agreed, under certain unspecified conditions, to allow users of Google's recently introduced instant messaging system Google Talk to communicate with users of AOL's market-leading AIM instant messaging service

Was this move just to gain millions of AIM users? Was this more of a move to go toe to toe with Ebay/Skype as far as free voip is concerned?

That comes out to about $45 per user based on the 2002 numbers below.

In the at-home market, AOL's Instant Messenger (AIM) took the top spot, attracting more than 22 million unique users. MSN Messenger came in second with nearly 15.7 million Internet users, while Yahoo Messenger was third with 12.4 million. Rounding out the list, ICQ users totaled nearly 4.4 million during the month.

from [internetnews.com...] in 2002

While researching I have seen IM stats saying as many as 867 million people use some sort of IM, with skype being downloaded 132 million times. Figure AIM has at least that many users, and the cost per user is down to $7.50 or less.

Also found this little tidbit:
MSFT and Yahoo! connect Instant Messanger Communites. [docs.yahoo.com]
Consumers will be able to exchange instant messages, see presence, share emoticons and add friends from Yahoo! Messenger or MSN Messenger

Perhaps this was about much more than just search...

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