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AOL to Drop Google and Sign with MSN

     
3:35 pm on Dec 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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According to a Wall Street Journal Article, AOL will announce a new pact with MSN to replace Google Search and Advertising solutions with with MSN Search and Advertising solutions on AOL RSN (real soon now).

also reuters is repeating [today.reuters.com] the story:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Time Warner Inc is closing in on a deal with Microsoft Corp. to team up on an online advertising service to compete with Google Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the talks. The paper said the two companies were now focusing on a deal that would combine their advertising-related assets, with little or no money changing hands. It said they expected to reach an agreement before the end of the year, but that it was still possible that Time Warner's America Online unit could strike a deal with competitor Google instead. Time Warner has been holding talks with both Microsoft and Google over AOL, sources familiar with the situation have told Reuters and other media.

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12:13 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This is great news ... if it actually happens! Less emphasis on Google, more competition, more choice. Fantastic!
12:15 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Time to start building websites for MSN folks and forget all about Google ,SEO for Google , Jaggers and all that stuf.The shortlived King G is dead .Long live the real KING GATES.
12:16 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If a an AOL user is using AOL search, then it's doubtful much switching back to Google will occur. Most don't even know where the results are from and even more will not even notice the change.

I've been vocal about the recent price of Google stock (it's too high), but I like the search engine itself. It's nice to see some competition and this might be the wake up call Google needs. Maybe they can get their resources concentrating on search again.

12:19 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hooray, if this really goes through Google can stick their sandbox up their AOL.
12:33 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I was visiting a friend today ( has his own vynil sign making business .3 employees , turn over about a million and a half dollars equivalent in euros , bright guy ) uses AOL as a DSL subscriber at work here in France ..talking about this he was amazed ..he thought that AOL owned the entire internet! and that google etc and wanadoo ( the local french telecoms and internet provider )..rented access into AOL's internet! ..so did his employees..

he had no idea how to change his machine from the page that opened when he switches it on ..
and yes he does spend money on line ..

he kept asking me ..you are sure you wont break it ( AOL ) ..

Insightfull ..

plus what an icky browser ..I'd forgotten how much clutter ..

He didn't know who was providing search to AOL and was really shocked when I explained SEO ..he got the idea ..but thought that all organic serps must be of their very nature "honest" ..and that the #1 was gonna be there because it was the best ..and that SEO was sort of dishonest ..

And yet the guy knows about advertising and ad placement ROI etc ..

1:08 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Leosghost: You have a BIG point.

Just because the people here live, eat, breath, sleep and dream the net, we tend to forget that most people just DON'T.

For the VAST majority of people out there, so long as the box works when they turn it on, and does what they want it to do, they don't want to devote the brainpower to figuring out what makes it work, who owns what, etc. They have other things to worry about.

Understanding that is what has put MS on top in the past. Gates understands that the consumer doesn't want to know how the toaster works. They just want to drop in the toast, press a button, and have something to butter a few minutes later.

If the heating coils in the toaster are made by MS, or made by Google, the average consumer couldn't care less. They just want toast. So long as both coils give them toast, they're happy.

1:58 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Has anyone noticed that one of Time Warners properties, CNN.com is now using Yahoo for their searches? If I remember correctly they were powered by Google search before...?

Looks like more and more are dropping Google.

2:10 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Great News at last.

I am sick and tired with google's dominance. Time for them to taste some of their own attitude.

3:01 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have no grudges against G, but I won't mind having more users tapping into MSN search. They're outcrawling G on my sites by 3 to 1, putting my new pages into their serps faster, and seem to have assigned my main site some sort of "authority" status. It's no big deal, because I'm doing great with G and Y, but MSN is better on some kw's. Of course, AOL doesn't supply a whole heap of traffic, but it might kick things up on searches that G buries down a couple of pages.

All of that said, here we are with an ongoing battle between the Big 3. If I had my druthers, it would be a battle between about 20 SE's, with the majority being non-North American. Search is too important to have it controlled by that small group of three, all based in one country. It's classic Babylon system. So, I'll take the increased traffic from MSN for now, but I won't mind if they go t*ts-up one of these days.

3:07 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>> The shortlived King G is dead

Oh OK. Whie we're here: what numbers should I play for tomorrow's lottery?

3:26 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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GOOD! this should stop Google master plan to own the world wide web.

"When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time."

3:58 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This could be a fun ride! I just received my invitation to sign up with the MSN adCenter pilot program a couple hours ago. Looks very nice!
4:30 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Good. This is really a good deal.
4:54 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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well we shall see what MSN said at pubcon 10 was real
The whole split results slide. :)

Great move in the war of online marketing

5:50 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This levels the playing field dramatically, If Yahoo had been given the deal it would have put them up against Google. Now MSN is on par to Yahoo with searches, according to Nielson NetRatings charts.
6:29 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Best news I've heard since the last update. I don't personally use nor understand why people use AOL, but it's a large feather in my cap should this pan out.
6:31 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hurray! Now we can opt out of the google "partner" network( i.e crappy scraper sites!)...
I hope MSN sets up their own network outside of overture.....
6:51 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Great to see two big companies to team up for online advertising service and a great step towards competing Google.

Interesting!

6:56 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I guess Google will start squeezing webmasters for more money if Earthlink goes "into play". Loosing them could really get Google and the stockholders nervous. If those high stock prices start dropping its bust time. I canít see Google stock continuing to rise when market share is declining. Maybe the Jagger update was preplanning for the loss.
7:46 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I wonder what type of timezone we are talking about here? I remember when Y moved away from ink it all seemed to happen quickly so are we looking at weeks or months?
10:59 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I hope MS doesnt win the war, they will be far more ruthless with ad placement and corporate bias than google ever could be. And they will take a strangle hold on the market for as long as people are using windows.

But if neither side wins and competition remains that's a great outcome for us.

So only time will tell if this is good or bad news.

11:12 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google derived about 11 percent of its first-half revenue from AOL

That's a massive chunk to lose. Does anyone have any figures for this: What percentage of Google search does AOL comprise? If AOL traffic is more valuable than general Google traffic then the 11% of revenue loss could translate to 20% of traffic loss for Google? More?

Likely repercussions:
- Adwords accounts: volume of traffic from Adwords, prices per click?
- Adsense publishers: loss/gain of traffic, loss/gain of earnings almost on par with a Google update?
- change in strategies by webmasters to cater for a less internet savvy customer?
- big dip in Google shares (can't understand why that hasn't happened... 11% of revenue gone poof!)?
- musical chairs among staff of big SEs?
- effects on local search from all this traffic moving over to MSN?
- likely changes in Google's strategy as a result of losing AOL?
- possibility of MSN overtaking Yahoo sometime soon? (the main news is Time (AOL) and Microsoft getting together to take Google head on in "online advertising")
- others?

I'd be interested in knowing the community's wider vision of what this means.

Brett, later in the day reuters [today.reuters.com] seemed to be retracting the story

11:35 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Oddsod
the main target of your message for me is
"change in strategies by webmasters"
Beeing a webmaster and this is a webmaster forum so is not a forum for economical analutics and business investments,I strongly believe that is time to create pages tailor made for other engines and I mean MSN because that is the future instead of google.It is time for SEO's to think other strategies instead of the old time rec.link farms ,PR,black or white hat ,great content and so on .It is time to get more threads in this forum about "Strategies to get a top rank in MSN" instead of those borring Google search news or ultraborring google adsense threads.The reason I believe MSN is the future is that the Company of Mr Gates covers fronts in IT tech,most importent of all the windows OS ,people will use windows for the next 50 years ,99% of Joe's will use Internet Explorer that came with his/her new PC or LT..Joe user will never bother to download firefox or (safari unless he is a dedicated Mac fun) (see how many use today opera or netscape).Who or what Company in the world does not use MS office,what is ECDL all about?.Microsoft is the core of the IT.What has google to offer exept a Search Engine.Google Earth or froogle? or Gmail?.Come on let's be serious, George killed the Dragon only in the Fairy tales ,in real life the Dragon eats George.
11:42 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Adsense publishers"
they wont be more left after Yahoo and MSN create there own publishers/marketing network with +% better earnings for publishers and +%cheaper for advertisers ,after all that is the low of commerce ,if you want to kill your competitor .
11:57 am on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"That's a massive chunk to lose. Does anyone have any figures for this: What percentage of Google search does AOL comprise? If AOL traffic is more valuable than general Google traffic then the 11% of revenue loss could translate to 20% of traffic loss for Google? More?"

Oddsod is on it. If Google lose AOL, they will lose more than 11% of their revenue. When you think of the conversion of visitors to clicks, then number of page views lost will be quite significant ... certainly enough for investors to stand up and notice.

Aside from this it looks like we are now going back to the days where there was real competition. If this deal goes through we'll have Google, Yahoo and MSN all offering search and advertising. It's a fundamental shift of the powerbase.

Having said that, aren't Google still in the race for a share in AOL?

12:16 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google is still very much in the running, the sources said, contradicting Tuesday's Wall Street Journal report that said signs pointed to a deal with Microsoft.

A mod should edit the title to this thread.

12:48 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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WOW I can't believe how hated Google is from the webmaster crowd, just 1 year ago (before they went public) Webmasters LOVED Google, now they really want it to DIE. I don't blame them though, as a webmaster I know we put a lot of effort into making our site as good as possible for these search engines, only to get f**#(*&@# over when Google decides your 15mins of fame is over.

Obviously Google is kicking dirt on Webmasters/SEOs face and now they just can't wait to see Google tumble. What's interesting is MSN search or another dominate player will soon topple Google, its not a matter of IF, its just a matter of when. All the biggest players have come and gone, many of them were billion dollar firms.. (looksmart, altavista, netscape) that is until their share price tanked and partners dropped out.

It's interesting to see that Google has come up with a lot of "new" services lately but most of them are interesting ideas that don't make them any money. For example, Google Maps/Satellite. How on earth are they going to make money from Satellite images?

Most people here just use Google for search and instead of concentrating on what they know best they're starting to jump into all sorts of businesses where they are not #1.

1:11 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"It's interesting to see that Google has come up with a lot of "new" services lately but most of them are interesting ideas that don't make them any money. For example, Google Maps/Satellite. How on earth are they going to make money from Satellite images?"

But you could also argue that Microsft only make money from Windows and Office, they lose money on everything else including Xbox.

The problem with Google's reliance on just advertising as their sole revenue stream is that the advertising industry is volatile. People need computers and office software, but they are not compelled through necessity to advertise.

This is where I think Google could have problems in the future.

1:19 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>>>Time for them to taste some of their own attitude.

Spot on - Best of luck Bill.

<off-topic>
>>Interesting ideas that don't make them any money.... How on earth are they going to make money from Satellite images?

Got a call from a real estate journalist last week asking if/how Google was going to impact that sector. Don't know anything about US real estate (or G's plans) but it occurred to me that if you combine Google maps (showing local services) with their "click to call" service, couldn't homeowners who wish to sell easily advertise their house privately online and pay for every sales enquiry call they receive?
</off-topic>

1:50 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Webmasters LOVED Google, now they really want it to DIE.2
Yes we do.
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