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December 19, 2005

AOL picks Google over MSN in new deal

AOL has chosen to use Google for all aspects of its search needs. No more than two weeks ago the Wall Street Journal stated that MSN was in the final stages of inking a deal to provide the AOL with its search services. The deal is expected to be announced formally tomorrow.

Published reports claim that Google has paid $1 billion to take a 5 per cent stake in the media giant. This is good news for AOL as it has struggled with a lower subscriber base and problems with its merger with Time Warner.

Google will promote AOL web properties and include AOL's online videos "amongst the search results", adds the Wall Street Journal, ambiguously. 'Amongst' may mean 'as part of', or it may mean along side', and there's a world of difference between the two. Google emerges from the negotiations as an advertising powerhouse. It will use AOL's ad sales team and make use of a range of advertising inventory, such as banners, that brand conscious advertisers demand.

The deal is principally about advertising, but the pair also agreed to extend their search agreement, signed in 2001, for another five years.

In MSN's fight to 'build a better mouse trap' it seems Google has thrown a large obstacle in the way of MSN's fight to the top.

-Mark Barrera
The MasterLink Group, Inc.
Search Engine Marketing Services

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