SEO News
Search

AOL Offers Personalized Home Page, RSS Feeds

author-default
by , Comments

AOL has launched a beta version of MY AOL, a customizable portal that provides access to AOL.com's entire suite of features and allows users to add their favorite RSS feeds to the page.

The new personalized My AOL portal includes a My Feeds section which displays headlines from news, blog and other sites offering RSS feeds. Feeds are provided through a partnership with Feedster.

With this initial launch, you can select feeds from a list of categories created by AOL. Topics range from national news, business news and politics to entertainment, sports news, technology and humor.

You can also add your own feed-based content to your My AOL page or feeds not included in AOL's categories by entering RSS/XML addresses or URLs for favorite Web sites. My AOL automatically scans these Web sites for all available feeds, and when found, lets you add them to your current list of feeds.

AOL says it does not yet support searching the web for feeds, but this feature is planned for an upcoming release of the portal. What this seems to mean is that despite the partnership with Feedster -- whose index includes over 11 million RSS feeds and hundreds of millions of XML documents -- you can't yet tap into its database of feeds

Instead, if you use the Add A Feed box on the My Feeds page, it appears to simply check a particular page to see if a feed is made available through autodiscovery. Our recent SEW Blog post, Yahoo Gains RSS Feeds For Web Search & Discovering Autodiscovery, explains more about how autodiscovery works. The short answer is this. Unless a particular site has this enabled (plenty don't), you cannot yet add that site's feed to AOL's My Feeds. This will no doubt change soon.

Other features promised for upcoming releases include a "Top Feeds" section that displays popular news and hot blogs. You can get a sense of how this feature will work by visiting Technorati's Technorati's listings of popular news stories and top 100 blogs, which is constantly updated.

AOL also plans to make it easy to access your My AOL page from any computer by exporting your settings.

In launching the My AOL portal, AOL has taken another step toward demolishing the "walled garden" of content the service has been known for. Over the past year, AOL has completely overhauled its web search capabilities, rolled out specialized local, shopping and travel search engines.

The company has also loosened restrictions on much of its proprietary content, making it freely available to anyone rather than requiring a subscription for access.

Last month, the company rolled out a new video search service. Unlike the video search services offered by Yahoo and Google which are both limited, AOL video search provides access to more than 15,000 licensed and originally produced video assets that come from various AOL services, other Time Warner properties (CNN for example), and many content partners like the Associated Press.

The video search works really well, with results clustered into related categories. You can also create your own playlists of favorite video and save them to your My AOL portal.

The launch of My AOL is a direct shot over Yahoo's bow. Both companies now offer an extensively customizable interface for their various services. While AOL doesn't (yet) have some features offered by Yahoo, it does boast an impressive amount of unique content.

And with the addition of RSS feeds to the My AOL home page, AOL now offers a compelling alternative for a start page for many people.

Want to discuss or comment on this story? Join the AOL Launches New Portal discussion in the Search Engine Watch forums.

Search Headlines

NOTE: Article links often change. In case of a bad link, use the publication's search facility, which most have, and search for the headline.

Google Goes RSS: Submit Your News Feeds Now...
Lockergnome Jul 28 2005 6:57AM GMT
Google:Microsoft Suit Is 'Charade' Aimed At Scaring People...
Dow Jones Jul 28 2005 3:06AM GMT
Tracking the Blogs...
Business Week Jul 28 2005 3:05AM GMT
Google's Kai-Fu Lee in China...
Seattle Post Intelligencer Jul 27 2005 7:57PM GMT
AdSense Mistakes One Should Not Make...
Search Engine Round Table Jul 27 2005 7:47PM GMT
A visit to Yahoo and the human touch...
Silicon Valley Watcher Jul 27 2005 7:44PM GMT
Lucrative Keyword Series: Research Step Two...
Search Engine Guide Jul 27 2005 7:43PM GMT
Gender, buying power differs slightly users of different search engines...
InternetRetailer.com Jul 27 2005 7:42PM GMT
Google Hacking for Penetration Testers...
Slashdot Jul 27 2005 7:38PM GMT
Travelers Feel 'Empowered' By Online Search...
TechWeb Jul 27 2005 7:31PM GMT
Comparison Shopping: ShopLocal vs. Cairo...
Wall Street Journal Jul 27 2005 12:24PM GMT
New MSN Screen Saver With Search & RSS Integration...
Search Engine Watch Jul 27 2005 12:21PM GMT
PriceGrabber expands with office and fashion categories...
Netimperative Jul 27 2005 12:12PM GMT
Yahoo, Boeing team for in-flight service...
CNET News.com Jul 27 2005 12:04PM GMT
AOL Brings Search To Users On The Go...
Media Post Jul 27 2005 12:03PM GMT


SES LondonOptimising Digital Marketing Campaigns with Search, Social and Analytics
At SES London (9-11 Feb) you'll get an overview of the latest tools, tips, and tactics in Paid, Owned, Earned, Integrated Media and Business Intelligence to streamline your marketing campaigns in 2015. Register by 31 October to take advantage of Early Bird Rates.

Recommend this story

comments powered by Disqus