Again, typing is tough so I’ll let John McKinley do the talking, the entire thing is really worth a read:
The challenge with this approach is fourfold:
1. We lost the impact of some of the tips and techniques we had developed as a “veneer” player that maximized the revenue we could get from high-value searches – maybe that will be offset by the private label adwords, but maybe not…
2. Over time, the average consumer is going to develop more of a tendency to just go to google.com directly – I certainly have begun doing that. The value of AOL as part of the value chain in the eyes of the consumer is getting pretty minimal.
3. It under-leverages AOL’s ability to deliver unique rich content assets from within the TWX network.
4. It is, by its nature, defensive in nature – how could you possibly grow search share materially this way?