Google to be search engine for all AOL brands

Google and AOL Time Warner subsidiary, America Online (AOL), have agreed to begin offering Google's search engine over all of AOL's Internet companies, the companies announced Wednesday.

By the end of the second quarter or during the third quarter, Google's search technology will be used in the search areas of such AOL units as CompuServe, and Netscape, the companies said in a joint statement.

Financial terms for the multiyear agreement between AOL, based in Dulles, Virginia, and Google, based in Mountain View, California, were not disclosed.

The alliance will improve searching capabilities for AOL users by granting them access to Google's increasingly popular Internet search engine technology while Google will become available to AOL's 34 million members as well as the tens of millions of visitors to AOL's Web-based properties, the companies said.

Google's site is closing in on Yahoo Inc. as the world's most popular search engine, according to a study released Tuesday by market researcher WebSideStory Inc. Google garners 31.87 percent of all search referrals worldwide, compared to 36.35 percent that come from Yahoo, the WebSideStory study said.

Google and AOL also inked a marketing agreement, allowing Google to pitch its targeted paid listings product from its base of advertisers to users of AOL's services, the companies said.

The Google/AOL deal comes a day after Overture Services Inc. said its U.S. search distribution relationship with AOL had ended. Overture handles advertising for search engines, and is a rival for Google in the online advertising market. AOL users in the U.S. will no longer receive paid listings provided by Overture's advertisers though its entries on AOL Europe's portals in the U.K., France and Germany will continue, Overture said.

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Laura Rohde

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