What's AOL Up to in India?

By Ed Silverstein May 23, 2011

There used to be an India-centered site for AOL.in. But things have apparently changed.

TheNextWeb discovered that now visitors to the site AOL.in are being redirected to aol.coolage.in. That is “one of AOL's media properties,” reported the Business Insider.

The Business Insider also speculated that AOL could be “preparing a relaunch or a revamping of their India portal. Or maybe it's just giving up on India as it tries to turn around its business in the US.”

In March, TechZone360’s Tracey E. Schelmetic reported that AOL was “cutting several hundred jobs in India.”

“AOL India has said that, going forward, its focus will be on building consumer facing products primarily for the Indian and other Asian markets,” TechZone360 also reported in March.

AOL laid off some 400 employees in its Indian operations and transferred some 300 employees to Mindtree and HP, reported The Next Web.

Tim Armstrong, AOL’s CEO, reportedly said in a leaked memo that the company’s Indian unit will “refocus on Asia and India related consumer products,” The Next Web said.

In a related matter, Plugged.in reported that AOL also closed Asylum.in, a lifestyle site which targeted men in India, the Next Web reported.

Plugged.in also estimated that AOL India got rid of some 90 percent of its staff in March.

“AOL India shutdown doesn’t come as a surprise – these are sites that had a difficult time building (organic) traffic and hence, monetization was probably a huge challenge,” reported Plugged.in.

“While AOL (earlier) shamelessly copied Yahoo design, they didn’t get the basics right. A new domain (AOL.in) needs its own sweet time to build traffic and a basic lesson they should have derived from Yahoo is how Yahoo launches new properties and piggybacks on Yahoo.com domain, which has a much higher value in the world of search engines (including page rank),” Plugged.in added.

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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