I bet you didn’t see that coming, because we sure didn’t. Best of all, it’s completely official: “Bing now powers AOL web, mobile, tablet search, providing paid search ads and algorithmic organic search results to AOL properties worldwide and exclusively in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.”
On their website, Microsoft mentioned some key takeaways. They said that by working with a well established and branded name like AOL, they’ll be able to leverage more in the search engine market. Another great insight they provided was that AOL currently has a very similar audience to that of Bing and Yahoo. They stated that “both audiences have higher household incomes, the majority have attended college, they skew slightly female and the majority of users are ages 35+” and that “both audiences also spend more online than average Internet searcher.”
Now that the two companies have partnered, not only will AOL users get access to Bing as their main search engine, AOL will also be able to use Bing’s algorithm for search ads. With this partnership, more people will be utilizing AOL for their search engine and the incorporation of Bing Ads. Furthermore, AOL will handling the display, mobile, and video ad sales for all of Microsoft’s properties which includes MSN, Outlook, and even Xbox. It’ll be interesting how this will play out in the coming months, especially considering that the two have signed on to the partnership for a 10 year long contract.
This agreement is a big shot at Google as well. Up until now Google has been the search engine provider for AOL, which means that not only is Bing making a move to expand, but they are directly taking business from Google with this move.
I think we’ve all learned from Yahoo!’s mistake back in 2002, when they tried to buy Google before they went public for about $3 million and as we all know, Google declined. Then there was Bing’s alliance with Yahoo and we all know how that ended. In terms of being at the right place at the right time, AOL definitely was there at the start of mainstream Internet and really prospered and since then, they’ve kind of just been floating around and trying to rebrand themselves. With Microsoft, they introduced us to the beloved PC that has morphed so much over the past few decades so they’re a very successful company that has continued to grow and whose main competitor has been Apple.
Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see where this partnership takes the two companies. AOL has been fighting to stay relevant and useful, and this may be their first step to taking back a fair number of users. And, in Bing’s case, this partnership gives them access to a whole new group of users that they haven’t interacted with before, giving them that many more opportunities to draw in more searches. This partnership could be a big step in the right direction for both of these companies.