Tuesday, November 02, 2004

AOL eyes personal search

AOL could be a great partner. Here is the scoop.

From Infoworld.com:

"We're very focused on search as a company," Campbell said. "We're moving very aggressively in defining new ways for people to search, interact with and store information. It's a gigantic part of the company's focus. There's lots more to come."

One logical area for AOL to move towards in search is personalization, or giving users the capability to customize their search activities, save queries and manage, manipulate and store results, he said. "Personalization is on the horizon. That's a given," he said.

At this stage in the game, it's clear personal search is an interesting space, but it has yet to be proven if it's truly useful for users, Campbell said. While recognizing that competitors such as Yahoo Inc., A9.com Inc. and Ask Jeeves (
Profile, Products, Articles) Inc. have made strong moves in personal search recently, Campbell said users can expect AOL to follow suit "in a few months."

As a media company that specializes in establishing tight links with its clients through a broad palette of online services and content, AOL is in a very good position to leverage its customers' interest in search and provide a distinct search experience to them, Campbell said. "We sit at the central spot where we can bring together the worlds of our (Web) users and (online service) members and the media assets we have and the content on the Web," he said.

This is why now at AOL, search is called "the perfect business," Campbell said.

"It's perfect because AOL's legacy of being very consumer, member-centric is well served at the same time the revenue model is well served. When members find what they're looking for, they're happy, and most of the time they're looking for things that can be monetized. There's a tremendous focus on this company at doing this," he said.