America Online expanded its agreement with Google and shored up its own AOL Search capabilities with new query options and navigation tools.
Through the agreement, AOL will have increased access to Google's index and sponsored links, the details of which were not revealed.
Microsoft's MSN service is also preparing to update its search technologies and has ended its agreement with search listing provider LookSmart.
AOL spokesman David Theis affirmed his company's outsourcing strategy. "There is an industry leader that people value and enjoy so we are offering our users that technology, as well our own."
AOL has also introduced new search capabilities within its AOL 9.0 Optimized service, such as a "Smart" box search tool which automatically presents relevant choices when a user types in a search query in the quickstart toolbar field, and navigation tabs that provide quick access to web pages, images and groups.
It has also bolstered its local search features, providing query results according to user zip codes.
Scarlet Pruitt writes for IDG News Service