AOL Making Portal and Search Changes
Some big changes are in the making at AOL which will help to expand their content, channels, and advertising revenue past their paid internet service provider members and to the masses. And no, it’s not the Netscape homepage! AOL is currently testing a preview of their new AOL portal, recalling the good old days where anyone could go to the AOL site and read their articles, news, and use their search engine.
The AOL portal will focus on their main channels – shopping, news, movies, sports and entertainment while also helping to market the AOL ISP Broadband and Dial Up services. PaidContent.org reports that “Time Warner executives have indicated their intention to make AOL.com more appealing to the general Web audience. Future versions of the site will include more exclusive content from the proprietary service.”
In addition, AOL is planning on rolling out a comparison shopping engine – In-Store.com, which may be competing with Google’s Froogle or Yahoo Shopping. The New York Times reported that In-Store has been in planning for 18 months by AOL and the company is expected to start a large advertising blitz next week just as shoppers begin thinking about buying for the holidays. AOL is rumored to be working on a PPC based sponsorship/inclusion model similar to MySimon or Shopping.com.