AOL to Stick with Google
Google announces that AOL has agreed to continue using both the Google Web database and Google's ads. Called a "multi-year alliance," this renews the AOL deal that started in May 2002 when AOL announced a switch from Overture ads and an Inktomi Web database to Google for both. The Google Web database did not go live on AOL until July 31, 2002, so it has only been a bit over a year since AOL switched to Google.
With the renewal comes several changes to AOL Search:
- Addition of the Google Images database (with "strict" filtering on) and as a separate tab
- New People Search tab for AOL members for search AOL Chat Rooms, Message Boards, Home Pages and Groups
- Local searching capabilities for AOL members
- Popular Searches, in a box listed as "Hot Searches"
The directory continues to be the Open Directory. The Google Web database has the English language limit turned on by default. No advanced search page is available nor any ability to change defaults. Two pages per site are shown, but without the indentation available at Google.
AOL offers no compelling reason for professional searchers to go to their site rather than direct to Google. Of more interest is the AOL Hometown page which has a separate search interface to AOL "Journals" (i.e., blogs) and member home pages. While some of the member home pages show up in the regular AOL Search, Google, and other search engines, the journal pages and some of the member home pages do not. So you may find additional content via AOL Hometown that is not elsewhere searchable.