Google Gets Lowest Score Ever In Customer Satisfaction Survey

google-angry-frustrated-insanity-featured There's a mystery surrounding the latest customer satisfaction numbers released by ForeSee Results (for the American Customer Satisfaction Index [ACSI]). Published late last night, they indicate the lowest levels of consumer satisfaction with search engines (and portals) since 2003. The satisfaction scores for social sites are worse. According to the survey, which ranks sites on a 100 point scale, Google received its worst score (77) since the inception of the survey more than a decade ago. Google's score last year was 82. This year Bing and Yahoo both received scores of 76, which are lo [...]

AOL In 2011: Charlie Sheen #Winning Over Other Celebrities

AOL announced its most popular global searches (United States, United Kingdom and Canada) in 2011 at While other search engines have ranked Justin Bieber and Kim K at the top for the year, Charlie Sheen proved he won the hearts of AOL users by climbing to the top of their most searched for celebrity list. Most notable about the AOL hot searches feature this year is the ability to view the UK and Canadian top searches independently, by clicking each country flag to view the differences in search behavior among all three countries. As AOL has over 60 million montly [...]

Report: AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo To Team For Display Ads

In an apparent response to Google's rising prominence in the display advertising market, the rest of the major players -- Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL -- are reportedly teaming up to sell ads on one another's sites. The report in the Wall Street Journal's All Things D says the pact was explained to a group of ad buyers and Web publishers at a dinner last night in Manhattan. The agreement is also aimed at reducing the amount of inventory that's going to ad networks, where pricing is lower than the companies think they can charge themselves. Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL are also hoping to get other [...]

AOL Q2 Earnings: Display Up, Search Down

AOL released its second quarter earnings this morning. Many financial analysts had a modestly positive reaction to AOL's display ad growth, though overall revenues were were off 8 percent: $542.2 million (vs. $592.2 million a year ago). Display revenues were up 14 percent overall, 16 percent in the US. However search and contextual ad revenues were down 21 percent. No one is very upset about the decline in search revenues given that analysts don't expect much from AOL in this category anymore. AOL's search market share has been declining over time and so it comes as little surprise [...]

Google’s 2011 Mother’s Day Logo & More Logos

Today is Mother's Day in the United States and many many other countries and for the special day, Google and the other search engines have special logos and themes up. The logos and themes are to honor our Mothers for all they have done for us. Below is a listing of the logos from Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines that have special logos up for Mother's Day. More Fun Google Logos: Google’s Royal Wedding Logo Your Guide To The Royal Wedding 2011, Social Media Style What Time Is The Royal Wedding? Google Tells You With Special [...]

Google’s Interactive Earth Day Logo

Today on Google's home page is a special interactive Google logo for Earth Day. Earth Day this year falls out on Good Friday and for the special day, Google made a fun, animated and interactive Google logo. Ironically, it seems as if you have Pandas playing (see the Google Panda update), the logo also has birds flying, fish swimming, lions sleeping, penguins sledding and much more. Here is a video me interacting with the Google logo. Google was not the only search company celebrating Earth Day with a special logo, so is Yahoo, Bing,, AOL and others. Here they are: [...]

Report: AOL Abandons Yahoo Merger As Yahoo Cuts Headcount

The would be AOL-Yahoo merger is apparently off, according to Crain's New York Business. The site is reporting that "AOL tried to either get enough backing to make a run at Yahoo, or get Yahoo interested in buying it . . . Yahoo didn't bite, and AOL didn't have its ducks lined up to be a buyer." Yahoo reportedly didn't receive any formal offer or proposal, however, so it's hard to know how serious any of this is or was. The article goes on to document some of AOL's ongoing challenges in the market, though it has had some successes under new CEO Tim Armstrong. Meanwhile the Wall Street Jo [...]

Judge Grants Google’s & AOL’s Motion To Dismiss Paul Allen Lawsuit

A district court judge in Seattle has granted motions filed by Google and AOL to dismiss a Paul Allen patent infringement lawsuit against those two companies (and others). Judge Marsha Pechman agreed with both Google and AOL, who said that Allen's lawsuit was too vague. Allen's patent infringement complaint "failed to identify the infringing products or devices with any specificity," Pechman wrote in her ruling. You can read the full decision on Groklaw. Allen has until December 28th to refile the case. He first filed the lawsuit in late August, accusing 11 companies -- including Goo [...]

AOL Scheming To Sell Itself To Yahoo?

This morning brings another report of AOL M&A machinations involving ways to merge with or be acquired by Yahoo, now that both sites have very similar missions and strategies. They're in a way like the Ford and Chevy of the internet these days: workmanlike but not very glamorous. Maybe that's unfair to Ford. Both Yahoo and AOL are focused primarily on display advertising with content creation driving page views. There's a lot of similarity and a lot of overlap. Reuters is saying that AOL is exploring how the company might break itself up, through a "complicated series of transactions [...]

Report: Hungry Bankers Manipulate Press To Kickstart AOL-Yahoo Merger Talks

A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma: according to the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, based on the Journal's report yesterday, financial advisers have been hired by AOL to "explore various strategic options for the company, one of which includes a possible tie-up" with Yahoo. This is just the latest installment of the long-running speculation about a Yahoo-AOL merger, which started when Microsoft was trying to take over Yahoo. AOL is trying reinvent itself under former Googler Tim Armstrong. The company, however, saw a steep ad revenue decline in Q3, though earnings were pos [...]

How Would An AOL-Yahoo Merger Affect Search?

There are rumors flying that AOL and private equity firms may be trying to buy Yahoo in a complex transaction that would involve a likely sale of Yahoo's stake in Alibaba. Matt wrote up the item last night. Bloomberg has more this morning suggesting that, as with Microsoft a couple of years ago, Yahoo is positioning to fight a takeover. One of the very hypothetical scenarios involves taking Yahoo private to "avoid the scrutiny of the public markets," allowing the company to make some of the "tough choices" necessary to really turn it around. Such a scenario would not involve AOL obviousl [...]

Rumor Mill Heats Up Over Yahoo-AOL Deal

Rumors are circulating tonight that Yahoo might be a candidate to be bought, possibly by some combination of AOL and various private-equity firms. The Wall Street Journal report is citing "people familiar with the matter" who describe this as one possible scenario: Silver Lake Partners and Blackstone Group LP are among the firms that have expressed interest in teaming up with AOL to buy Yahoo or trying to take it private on their own, these people said. They added that at least two or three other firms could be interested in participating if a formal buyout proposal is drawn up. The [...]

AOL Extends Google Search Deal: 5 More Years

AOL announced they have extended their search deal with Google for an additional five-years. This includes Google powering AOL's organic and paid search results. The deal also added in that Google will power search on mobile search, in mobile apps and content. Also, all of AOL's video content will also be on YouTube as part of this new extended deal. In summary, the new five year deal includes: Search Products: Google will provide AOL with additional features and enhancement to its leading Web search products that will improve the consumer search experience across AOL's network of si [...]

We Could Be Lovers: AOL Courts Google & Microsoft

Coy AOL is trying to get as much as it can for its flat to declining search volume from either current partner Google (AOL CEO Time Armstrong's corporate Alma Mater) or Microsoft, still hungry for more search wins and share. In an article recapping the D8 interview of Armstrong this week, he asserts there are "more than two potential partners" for AOL. The current Google search deal expires in December of this year. Sure, there are scores of search engines out there but only two that are able to genuinely compete for AOL's business: Google and Microsoft. Yahoo's not on the list because [...]

Happy New Years 2010 Search Logos & Google’s Surprise

Happy New Years! The Search Engine Land team would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and successful 2010. Just for fun, I wanted to share the various logos from the search engines and also Google's surprise. Let's start with Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" count down to New Years. Remember when you hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button on, it would show you how many minutes to 2010? Well, when 2010 hits, it then shows you a fireworks display. Here is a video I made of it. Now for the logos, which is basically a repost of my listing from the Search Engine Roundtable: [...]

AOL To Cut Staff By One-Third

In a Security and Exchange document filed on Tuesday night, AOL plans on cutting about one-third of their staff, about 2,300 people. The filing said, "the Restructuring will include the reduction of approximately a third of the Company’s current employee base, which will be conducted on a voluntary and involuntary basis." AOL became an independent company earlier this month, as the "new" AOL. It is unfortunate that so many people are going to lose their jobs early next year. It is also very unfortunate AOL had to officially announce this a day before Christmas eve. [...]

MapQuest Integrates Citysearch Content

MapQuest or variations on its name represent five of the top 22 search queries in the travel category (in November) according to Hitwise. However Google Maps is solidly in first place now as the top mapping site online. That puts MapQuest in the position of having to figure out whether to be content with its second place position or do some things to try and regain the lead. It's not clear whether MapQuest could regain the lead; however, the company has introduced a number of features and upgrades recently in a bid to improve the look and functionality of the site: 360 View: street-leve [...]

AOL Returns As Independent Company, Search Decision Looms

Yesterday was the first day of trading for the "new" AOL, an independent company with a market cap of $2.5 billion dollars. When AOL "bought" TimeWarner a decade ago in an all-stock transaction worth $182 billion there was a near consensus that the combined company represented the future of media and publishing. It made a lot of sense -- conceptually. But the marriage never worked out and AOL saw its fortunes decline literally and figuratively as newer companies ascended over the last 10 years. Now, with former Googler Tim Armstrong at the helm, the company's independent strategy is focused [...]

What’s In A Brand? AOL Becomes “Aol.”

One wonders how much the branding consultancy Wolff Olins was paid to help create America Online's new "brand identity." Over the weekend the about-to-be-independent company revealed its new brand and brand philosophy. The major change (so far) is the move from uppercase to lowercase letters: from "AOL" to "Aol." Here's how the release describes that new identity: The new AOL brand identity is a simple, confident logotype, revealed by ever-changing images.  It’s one consistent logo with countless ways to reveal. The new brand identity will be fully unveiled on December 10, when AOL common [...]

Google Plays It Safe With ’09 Veterans Day Logo

If you visit today, you will see a special logo for Veterans Day. The logo is less complex when compared to last years, where Google had to fix their Veterans Day logo. Last year, Google placed hats on top of each letter on the Google logo, the hats included Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. But they forgot one, the U.S. Coast Guard, which they added later. Google also has a logo on for Remembrance Day: Bing has a Veterans Day Theme: Yahoo typically skips adding a special logo for today, which is what they have done today. But you can see more [...]

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