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The decision to not display .com.au sites means I'll be missing a lot of traffic. As to whether this will change, it's up to how much the AOL community want to see results from outside the US. My bet is they won't even care - just take a look at how much interest there is in foreign TV, music, etc. AOL has the opportunity to open up the world to it's users and it looks like being another huge bungle coming up.
And if I was Google, I'd be very concerned at seeing their precious results turing out the way they do. Brand contamination? I don't think it gets much uglier. Google has prided itself on being as global as possible, translating different domains into different languages, etc. They've done a deal with one of the most short sighted, blinkers-on, "control our users" organisations on the planet, and Google have let them roll it out the AOL way. Look at the difference in how Yahoo and AOL have used Google's results and you'll see how different the companies are.
Let's just hope AOL users decide to check out Google for themselves and realise they should do their searches there instead.
In my case, AOL users do lose out. One of the sites is a travel agency that specialises in inbound travel from the USA. Because of the weak Aussie $$ and the way travel is sold, we can always provide better rates than US agents can. I'm sure there's plenty of other examples, so AOL does no service to their users by restricting the scope of their search results.
AOL Canada can't possibly ignore all .com US sites, this is where the majority of Canadians find their content. So I am banking on the fact AOL USA will filter out all international content for Americans and include US content on the international AOLs (even if they are not doing that now). And if they don't it won't be a major loss to me... which is why I intend on having my sites US-hosted soon!!!
I am in the US, and I have a site that is hosted by a company in Canada and it is not showing in these results. It is still just a .com though, and most of this site's audience is from the US. Everything about this site is US except my choice of hosting company. Just happened to like this web hosting company, which just happens to be in Canada.
Is this keeping me out of these AOL/Google serps? If so, this is about the stupidest thing I have ever seen. I'd have to change my web hosting company just to be in these serps? This is almost too funny to be stupid.
My site is totally absent from these new "aolgoogle" engines, apparently because my site has a .ws extension. On Google my site is on page 1 for 4 of the 5 main search words/terms. And, there is no option for a world search. I do come up high on [search.aol.co.uk...] with that world sites option, which is the default. My site is in English, and while the primary user base is in the US, because the topic is of worldwide interest I get users from all over the planet. While I can understand such stupidity from AOL, I'm surprised and dismayed that Google would allow itself to be involved in something as bad as this. If this isn't changed, I'll definitely be adding to my Usenet .sig (I make over 100 posts daily to Usenet) a "Boycott Google/AOL censorship" hate message directed at both, and a link to a page on my site comndemning both Google and AOL as evil. Perhaps I'll even add to the top of my home page "The site Google/AOL don't want you to see".
Just consider the implications of this truly disreputable policy. Got a .co.uk website about Shakespear or The Beatles? Google/AOL, to sanitize their search results for the protection of the American public, will make sure to censor it from the SERPs. Amazing that Google would lower itself for money to let AOL run search results, with the Google name on the page, that didn't even give the user an *option* for searching world sites. IMO, Google should be ashamed. Hopefully they see the light.