As I mentioned yesterday, whether or not Google is overpaying for AOL, it certainly seems to be tarnishing its reputation. More commentary:
Rob Hof at BusinessWeek – Why Was Google So Desperate for AOL?:
So if that account is correct, it’s seemingly giving up the vaunted purity of its search results for… what? AOL represents a small portion of its revenues, yet Google’s paying it a billion bucks for the privilege of looking less ethical than Microsoft.
If anyone can identify just what Google’s getting that’s worth risking its reputation (deserved or not) as the best search site, I’m sure readers here would love to hear it….
Nick Carr – Everything’s Negotiable:
Jupiter Research’s Joe Wilcox – What AOL-Google Deal Means to Microsoft:
My immediate reaction to the AOL-Google deal was the same as Gary’s, that apparently neutral, “You can make money without doing evil” Google had gone too far to get the AOL deal. I agree with Gary that, “Google Watchers may start to call foul.” The deal would give AOL preferred search placement, which sure as heck to me appears to contradict Google’s longstanding neutrality. There is legitimate reason for some Google customers to ask if there’s a sweetheart deal with AOL, why not deals with other big customers? And, if so, what would that mean for the many smaller businesses reliant on Google search.
In the long term, I think Google will have given up more than gained by the AOL deal. Google has given great opportunity for rivals Microsoft and Yahoo! to mount a marketing counter strike.
The BlogHerald – Google to give AOL ads special placement:
So let me get this straight: AOL ads will appear above other ads across Adwords/ Adsense, possibly returning a lower amount for bloggers, whilst if your an advertiser, doesn’t matter how much you bid, AOL will be ahead of you.
Anyone for YPN?
At the risk of introducing yet another metaphor, why does it seem like Microsoft raced Google to the edge of the cliff on this deal, but Microsoft stopped short and watched Google go sailing over? Presumably, Google PR will be all over this tomorrow, but the Yahoo and Microsoft advertising sales teams are probably already polishing their scripts.
Update: I concede the metaphor prize to anonymous Microsoft blogger (and gadfly) “Who da’Punk” who observes at his weblog, Mini-Microsoft:
Maybe we just convinced them to punch the tar-baby with a fist-full of a billion dollars.