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It all comes down to market share...a lot more peopele use googgle search than AOL search so you get more referals from google than AOL.
I actually think it's more to do with AOLers. They won't leave AOL-Land or they're just used to going into the AOL content. Most just use it for email. "You've got mail!"
Market Share...Yes, didn't I hear lately that they're going to spend $100 million advertising next month on a subscriber drive? (Off the top of my head, I don't know the exact figures). Since it's kind of a beginner's internet, and especially with the US cable market expanding, I don't know how they can expect to hold any sizeable market share IN THE LONG RUN. I had an account on AOL because I had a 12 year old, he's outgrown it since, bye-bye.
So, anybody know what is the age-group breakdown of AOL users?
When you look at MEdia Metrix and similar ratings on what search engines are getting traffic, AOL is pretty low however, - a lot of users but not many are using search. Add to that that our sites are b-b and targeted to 30 to 50 year old business professionals and the present proportions we are getting now look much more understandable.
However, it's not always the norm. I have one site right now that is getting 33.6% of its traffic from AOL, as opposed to 27.9% from Google.
I wonder if it has to do with the keyword?
Also, I posted this elsewhere today, but most of these referrals coming in as keyword1keyword2, not keyword1 keyword2. The way people find the site in AOL is very different from how they find the site from Google.
Finally, I've also noticed that AOL traffic is gold - it converts very very well.