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AOL to Compete with Google, Yahoo and MSN

Is Relaunching as a Portal

     
9:13 am on Dec 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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According to an article in USA Today [usatoday.com], in a bold move that acknowledges current economic realities, AOL has decided to abandon it's exclusive offerings and open itself up as a hybrid ISP/Internet Portal. By leveraging it's core user base and strong brand, AOL is flexing it's muscles in order to take a bite out of Google, Yahoo, and MSN's lunch.

Is it too little too late? Or will this create another basket for your eggs?

4:16 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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AOL already operates a portal at www.netscape.com.

It gets very little traffic. What's going to be different about the new AOL.com portal? Are they going to advertise it more? Is the AOL proprietary content so compelling that people are going to start visiting AOL?

Personally, I have little use for portals, but there are a lot of people who use yahoo.com and myway.com, for instance. I guess they are attracted to them by e-mail and customized news and weather and financial portfolio tracking, and maybe a few other things. AOL will have to offer similar features.

I have a feeling there are people walking around their offices saying: "We have all the resources of Time Warner, the biggest entertainment company in the world behind us, with a big music publisher, movie studio, book publisher, CNN, the Time family of magazines. We can produce a better portal than anybody." And maybe they can. I just don't see a big market for portals in the long run. But Yahoo continues to thrive, so who knows?

5:11 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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If all of Time Warners properties point to the AOL portal it could easily grab a bunch of eyes. Depending on how it is presented some may stay. They also have AIM and every kid under 15 seems to be addicted to it.
I am very curious about their new search engine that they have been very tight lipped about. Anyone have thoughts on this and what form it will take?
6:33 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It gets very little traffic. What's going to be different about the new AOL.com portal? Are they going to advertise it more? Is the AOL proprietary content so compelling that people are going to start visiting AOL?

The new Netscape Internet Service is being heavily promoted here in California, mainly prime time TV.

9:07 am on Dec 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I am very curious about their new search engine that they have been very tight lipped about. Anyone have thoughts on this and what form it will take?

I don't know about this but you can bet there will be a lot of PPC ads.