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Since its humble beginnings as a small online service for pc users, America Online Inc. has gained 34 million users and in addition to its millions of members it also has 3 million with Compuserve, 120 million with ICQ and 48 million users of netscape.com.

AOL then went on to purchase WebCrawler in 1997 to run on the AOL network. This allowed full web pages to be indexed.

AOL owes much of its success to providing independent services such as switching their primary results from Inktomi to Google, thus preventing users moving to Google as opposed to AOL’s own search facility.

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