AOL Confirms Discussions with Search Engines

    November 3, 2005

Two weeks ago, AOL CEO Richard Parsons dismissed speculation that his company, part of the Time Warner media empire, was in negotiations with Yahoo, MSN and/or Google. Rumours of these talks had been circulating for weeks in publications as diverse as the Wall St. Journal and Search Engine Watch.

At the time, Parsons claimed the stories were “market rumours”. Today, Kevin Newcomb from ClickZ reports that in an investors conference call, Parsons confirmed that AOL is in fact exploring a relationship with one or more of its rivals.

Parsons is reported to have said that AOL is in “strategic discussions” with a number of companies regarding” a range of potential strategic investments and transactions.” Unfortunately, he did not elaborate on which firms AOL was speaking with or what such a partnership would look like.

“It’s a priority for us to accelerate the transition of AOL to an audience-based business,” Newcomb reports Parsons saying, “We think AOL has what it needs to get there on its own, but we think that either through an enhanced relationship on the technology side, or an enhanced relationship to deliver more traffic to sites AOL controls, we can accelerate that transition.”

AOL has a massive network of subscribers. Its relationship with parent company Time Warner gives it access to content generated by the largest traditional media empire on Earth. As the finally functioning sum of a number of extremely valuable parts, AOL is poised to be a powerful partner for whichever search giant it chooses to do business with.

Jim Hedger is the SEO Manager of StepForth Search Engine Placement Inc. Based in Victoria, BC, Canada, StepForth is the result of the consolidation of BraveArt Website Management, Promotion Experts, and Phoenix Creative Works, and has provided professional search engine placement and management services since 1997. Tel – 250-385-1190 Toll Free – 877-385-5526 Fax – 250-385-1198