Will 2011 be AOL’s Year?

In a recent Advertising Age article, “AOL’s Attempt to Spruce Up Its Sites Washes Away Ad Revenue,” Edmund Lee explains how AOL’s CEO, Tim Armstrong, has been consistently emphasizing his message of: “It’s going to get worse before it gets better” in efforts of creating turnaround for AOL. Most of these efforts are focused on strengthening the “user experience” by reducing the amount of ads, increasing the quality of content, and slashing operating costs. However, lowering these costs has also had the effect of lowering incomes.

Jeff Levick, President of Global Advertising and Strategy, continues to explain that “We cleaned up the user experience. By removing the number of units, we’ve seen higher engagement of advertising across our pages. That is the strategy.”

Armstrong is not expecting any significant changes over the next quarter, but is hopeful for the second half in 2011. Specifically, Armstrong is strategizing to buy more content verticals that will prove profitable, especially video; and to “lock down AOL’s 2011 advertising pipeline.”

Do y’all think AOL will really be able to resurface in 2011?