America Online, Inc. has announced new AOL Search innovations and partnerships to expand its offerings for AOL subscribers, current and future audiences of AOL's network of Web properties, including the new AOL.com portal, and advertisers.
Enhancements to AOL Search include: An updated design that moves away from a tabbed interface in an effort to provide users with a more directed and personalized search experience; A new sorting and "clustering" feature--AOL has licensed clustering technology from Vivisimo, which automatically organizes relevant search results by topics and displays them alongside the list of general Web search results; An AOL SmartBox suggestion tool that presents relevant choices to help narrow a query even before users press the "Search" button and AOL Search will also display a user's most recent searches to save time when they want to look up the same searches again; A new layer of results called "Snapshots" appears at the top of search results and presents editorial content and relevant information for a wide range of topics from local movie showtimes and sports stats to current events; Integrated shopping search results; and Adjustable font sizes and improved compatibility with screen reader software used by the blind.
AOL Search plans to further expand its Local Search capabilities with additional features and is working with Fast Search & Transfer, Inc. (FAST), a provider of search technology and solutions, to enhance its expanded local search services and results customized to users' geographic locations.
America Online has signed a license agreement with Copernic for desktop search technology. Under the agreement, AOL is working with Copernic to deliver integrated desktop search with AOL Search that will allow users to search from one place for information online or files on their computer hard-drive.
America Online is also working to provide expanded opportunities for businesses and advertisers. In addition to its relationship with Google to provide Web search results and sponsored links for AOL Search, America will work with Ingenio, a company that offers a new way for local merchants to tap the power of Internet advertising through its Pay Per Call Advertising Platform. Ingenio Pay Per Call offers advertisers--whether or not they operate a Web site--an Internet-based, pay-for-performance system to drive targeted phone calls, rather than clicks, to their business for fast and efficient customer acquisition.