What is AOL Search?AOL Search has evolved from a feature that only full-fledged AOL subscribers could use, to an all access search engine. AOL's main web search results are powered by Google, which begs the question "why would I want to use AOL Search when I could just go to Google?" I think after you read this entire profile, you'll see that there are a lot of reasons you might choose to use AOL Search.
AOL Search Home PageAOL's home search page is bare and uncluttered, with the search bar parked squarely in the middle of the page. You've got a few options available to you right from the beginning, with text linked tabs on top of the search bar (web, pictures, video, audio, news, local, and shopping).
There's a nifty "did you know" widget below the search bar that shows up with a new snippet of AOL Search information every time you refresh your browser ("did you know saved searches keeps your history for 30 days so you don't have to remember?").
Plus, there's the green Saved Searches button that - guess what - saves your searches for up to 30 days, kind of a nice feature. Your most recent searches will show up in a drop-down menu (click on the rewind button) from the main search query box.
Searching with AOL SearchAs stated earlier, AOL Search results are powered, or "enhanced", by Google. AOL's audio and video search results are powered by SingingFish.
What I most appreciate about AOL Search is the ease-of-use features that they've bundled into their search application.
To the right of my search results were clustered web results (another way to put this would be clustered suggestions) for more candle-related searches, such as pillar candles, highly scented candles, soy candles, aromatherapy candles, etc.
Sponsored results (these are paid ads) were front and center, with my web results right below that. Sponsored links also have a little dollar sign right next to them, so that there's absolutely no mistaking that these are indeed paid ads. Web results, on the other hand, had little magnifying glasses next to them; a nice way to differentiate the two for people who might have any doubt in their mind what they are looking at.
AOL Search PreviewEvery time you wave your mouse over a link, you get a little scissors picture inviting you to "clip this link and save", which pops it into both your recent searches highlighted on the far left column of the search results page and your saved searches. When you go into your saved searches, you have the option of sorting through them by date or "what you typed" (what keywords you used in your search query). All searches are saved for thirty days.
AOL Search TabsIn addition to the clustered search "suggestions" for more web searching to the far left,you can also search in AOL Search's various categories. I clicked on "pictures" for scented candles and was transported to the image results.
AOL Video SearchVideo search for scented candles got zero results, but it was interesting to see that you can choose between clips labeled "AOL Membership Required" or "Launches in AOL Video Player for Web-optimized viewing." Audio results are clearly marked in regards to author, play quality, duration, etc., but it would have been nice to see some file types here as well.
AOL News SearchNews results are powered by Topix, and you're invited to enter your zip code to see personalized local news.
This AOL Search profile is continued on page two.