RealTime IT News

Google Adds AT&T To List of Clients

Google, the popular search engine that's become the choice of Internet users worldwide, gained another corporate client Monday after an agreement penned with AT&T WorldNet.

Ma Bell's Internet service provider (ISP) arm became the third provider in recent months to incorporate the Google engine on it Web site, following major national ISPs AOL and EarthLink .

WorldNet is the 10th-largest ISP in nation, with 1.4 million dial-up users in the U.S.

The change in search engine clients, AT&T WorldNet officials said, comes after customer suggestions for a switch to Google.

"We went to the only source that counts for feedback on WorldNet's site design-current subscribers," said Jim Davey, WorldNet vice president of partnership marketing and site services. "Customers told us they love the service's reliability and award-winning customer service, but wanted a more attractive homepage that incorporated their need for simplified navigation and premium-branded content"

Nominally a free search engine, Google executives have been very successful migrating its service into the corporate world, at the expense of Overture, the company that was until recently the king of the paid search engine industry.

Google's service, an enhancement of Overture's existing program, is much more advertiser friendly, letting ads placed for services at one price get changed to meet competitor pricing -- a service Overture was unable or unwilling to provide.

The similarities between the Overture and Google business services prompted Overture to file a patent infringement lawsuit against the other in April.