The recent announcement of the AOL partnership has been the source of a lot of rumors and misconceptions. Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products & User Experience, responds on these in Google blog.
From the post.
- Biased results? No way. Providing great search is the core of what we do. Business partnerships will never compromise the integrity or objectivity of our search results. If a partner’s page ranks high, it’s because they have a good answer to your search, not because of their business relationship with us.
- Indexing more of AOL’s content. Our goal is to organize all of the world’s information. When we say “all the world’s information,” this includes AOL’s. We’re going to work with the webmasters at AOL — just as we work with webmasters all over the world — to help them understand how the Google crawler works (with regard to robots.txt, how to use redirects, non-html content, etc.) so we don’t inadvertently overlook their content.
- AOL will receive a credit towards advertising purchased through Google’s ad program. You might wonder if this will affect the ad auction. It won’t. We don’t offer preferential treatment on advertising (in either the auction or the display) to any of our partners.
- We have a service called “onebox” for which we provide some additional links separate from ads (sponsored links) and search results. AOL and its products have always been a part of onebox, along with many other providers, and will continue to be.
- There will be no banner ads on the Google homepage or web search results pages. There will not be crazy, flashy, graphical doodads flying and popping up all over the Google site. Ever.