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Google on AOL

     
2:57 pm on Jul 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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beta google on aol [dirweb01.search.aol.com]
4:33 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Well, those guys will be reading this thread and no doubt be working on it.

Let's not panic and let it settle, but record observations. Now, where's that coffee pot.

In summary:
All but US-hosted is missing.
The results have no clustering.

Anything else?

4:35 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Yup, my Canadian hosted .com was vaporized.
5:03 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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It takes an organization like AOL to get hold of Google and serve up a bigger dogs dinner than they had with Ink. If I were Google, I would start worrying about brand contamination.
5:12 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>All but US-hosted is missing.

Some US-hosted is missing; #8 (out of 300k) in Google, but nowhere to be found on AOL. This serp is wwaaaaay off the mark, it's so bad that I'm certain that there have to be alarm bells going off at AOL and Google. I'll wait a week and see what hashes out before I start worrying.

5:17 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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All pages of ours showing up are at least 2 months or more old.
5:22 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I agree about brand contamination Napoleon. I checked with the key term for my site. Great on Google, but not this "AOL enhanced by Google", which gives much different results. Not even "Googlelike" results.
5:25 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>>They should have a <br> between the title and the description, i donīt like reading text that long<<

AOL has been doing this pre-Google too... I think it looks OK if you have good eyesight. On first read, though, I thought you were talking about someting else: I'm seeing the letters "br" popping up occasionally in my snippet descriptions where there is no break tag on the site. So, "if you don't find" on the site is showing up as "if you dontbr find."

5:30 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I think they are also filtering for language.

On one search phrase, the US-hosted German-meta-description graphics index page (an .org) of a main competitor is not listed (although it is at Nr1 in Google.com) but the English-language subsidiary page is listed lower down.

5:43 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Well our sites are all completely missing and we're based in the US a .com domains. Our server is hosted in Canada. I'm glad it's a beta, this would be very bad for us as absolutely nothing on my servers is listed in this database.
5:48 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Is anybody happy with these results?

We need someone from aol like Googleguy to set us straight before we get too worked up.
Is there an "aolguy" reading this thread?

5:54 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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As somebody hosting .com sites in the USA against country.TLD competition, I'd say I was happy, yes, ;)
5:55 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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So overall, it appears that they have filtered out everything that has a national TLD *or* is hosted outside the US. I presume that they are trying for the ultimate all-US search results.

Is this perhaps what AOL thinks that its customer base actually wants?

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.

5:56 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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>Is there an "aolguy" reading this thread?

With all that's recently happened there, I expect most AOL people will be reading the employment classifieds instead of this forum.

5:57 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Is anybody happy with these results?

Im happy with the results... Just glad to be strong in AOL. Previous attemps at paid inclusion from Inktomi have not paid off. No traffic from this site, and little from the co.uk site over the past month or so.

The results are different from what I have seen before.. could they be a preview of this months update?

6:00 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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[dirweb01.search.aol.com...]
[dirweb02.search.aol.com...]
[dirweb03.search.aol.com...]

on the lines of www, www2, www3 ?

mat

6:01 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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... I want to panic toooooo ... can't get in ... been getting 'Server Busy - The server is temporarily too busy to process your request. Please try again in a few minutes' for ten minutes. Excellent start, boys.
6:07 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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My .ca site is showing in the dirweb3.

That feels much better....... aaahhhhhhhh... good stuff.

6:08 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hang on. I think those are Ink listings.

mat

6:10 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I tried 02 and 03 and others, but they all end up at aolsearch.aol.com, where there is only mention made of Inktomi, not a peep about Google. Getting frustrated here, still can't get in at 01.
6:10 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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They are Ink listings. I'm not going to panic I'm pretty sure that Google will make sure all is well before this thing goes live... right ;)
6:11 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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As for filtering out non-US TLDs, and what the customer wants, consider that some topics aren't country specific. My site has a .ws extension, and the topicality has worldwide appeal. I even have inbound links from sites in places like Russia and Finland. If people use blue widgets worldwide, no reason to think sites about blue widgets in other countries aren't interesting.

mat

6:15 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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How low can you get? - just fired up AOL7 and logged in through local ISP - STILL can't get the page. Tease.
6:18 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Server Busy

The server is temporarily too busy to process your request. Please try again in a few minutes.

Now we've done it! :)

6:30 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure this won't be the final results on AOL. They can't just ignore 50% off the content on the web.
6:30 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Beautiful!!!

This is similar to what I saw last July 8 :) which I started a thread about it [webmasterworld.com...]

Now I know I was not imagining things...he he he he

mat

6:35 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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OK, finally got in, and well happy I am too. Number one for some important combos, another new(ish) site doing extremely well. Lack of clustering is a pretty horrible blast from the past, albeit with all ten results on one SERP frontpage all being for our site.
I get the feeling that there is a definite Algorithm cross-pollination going on - some of the URLS we're doing well on have always been good on Ink (from way back), but they're few and far between - seeing then doing well on Googaol as well is just too much of a coincidence. Damn happy to be hosted in the US, despite being based in Europe, is all I can say. Mat
7:32 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I do not see change on search.aol.com, but I am worried about how ugly they could be if they will be as they are now in Netscape.

I had a look at what the "Featured Results from Google" means and here is the reason (from Netscape "Matching Results" - About This):

-------------

Matching Results: Our web results are a blend of some of the best content available from AOL Time Warner's Web Properties, such as CNN and Time, and the World Wide Web. Netscape Search results contain links that are hand-picked by our research staff, that are articles and stories from some of the best online news and magazine sources available, and that are provided by Google, one of the most respected search engines on the Web. We organize and rank the results in the following manner:

Our knowledgeable research staff selects the most relevant links to display first.

Targeted news and magazine articles from top publications like Time, People and CNN will display next.

Web pages and links from the entire web universe appear following the above items and make up the bulk of matching results.

-----------------

If the results are the best they have... I would sell any AOL share if I had one!

7:36 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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It has to be a BETA, or just too good to be true... I love what I am seeing.
7:38 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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AOL Time Warner is reporting its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday.The company's troubled AOL division is expected to continue its precipitous slide from evaporating online advertising dollars.

Maybe they want to spice up the report by annonuncing "that aolsearch is using google as the search provider from today which will enhance both the user experience and the stickiness of the aol environment".

7:41 pm on July 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Darn - You guys/girls must be bogging down their server by doing all yer searches on the servers. I checked and all my sites are there just fine - they are all US hosted too :) Bandwidth is better on the East Coast because of the sunrays and water (:
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