YahoOL?

There are rumors starting to fly that Yahoo! has approached Time Warner about buying AOL. Since I can’t even reasonably pretend to have an intelligent discussion about corporate buyouts, I’ll leave that to other sources.

As a search marketing professional though, I hope there is truth to this for the sake of the Yahoo! Search Marketing Network.

We’ve watched Google expand its reach for years now, which has dug deep into Yahoo!’s potential inventory. With Microsoft entering the search marketing arena several months ago, Yahoo! suffered a direct hit. It would be a great move for Terry Semel and Yahoo! to scoop up AOL.

Not only would Yahoo! now have a tremendous new source of inventory for its advertisers, but Yahoo! would take a huge source away from Google (who currently has a partnership for AOL). AOL users are typically a strong audience for many advertisers and Yahoo! would be wise to bolster its offering with this group.

Lately, with Google making such a buzz on Wall Street, this kind of move would also help Yahoo! steal some thunder and likely boost sagging stocks. Plus, with AOL constantly moving away from relying so much on being an ISP, they get closer and closer to being a great fit for Yahoo!.

Of course, everyone involved denies everything, but doesn’t that usually mean we are days from seeing a deal close?