AOL Renews Its Google Vows

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aol.jpgADOTAS – Bing came a-courtin’, but AOL decided it was going to stay married to Google when it comes to search. The new five-year search deal inked by the two companies actually expands their relationship to mobile search and YouTube, which will feature AOL video content.

AOL CEO and Chairman Tim Armstrong called the more “another important step in the turnaround of AOL. AOL users will be getting a better search and search ads experience from the best search company in the world – Google.”

It’s a little bit of surprise because in July AOL said it was contemplating three search partners — an open marriage if you will. Bing was rumored to being itching for a piece of the pie, but the new deal makes AOL’s search Google-exclusive. The Wall Street Journal suggests AOL was just trying to make Google jealous and get a sweeter deal.

Always looking to expand one-year-old Bing’s share of the search market, Microsoft was in talks with AOL but balked at the rates. According to comScore, AOL boasted 2.3% of U.S. search queries, but an anonymous Microsoft executive told AdAge that the company wasn’t sold on AOL turning it all around as the portal’s search share has been on the decline. Questions are lingering whether AOL has got what it takes after a cringe-worthy quarterly report and the departure of a few key veteran executives.

But them Bing boys may not have been taking a look at the bigger picture — AdAge also noted that beyond search share, AOL users tend to be clickers, which of course drives ad revenue. Still, I’m with WSJ in thinking AOL used Microsoft to ruffle Google’s feathers — naughty girl!

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