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Ahead Of Earnings, AOL Sells Content Recommendation Engine Surphace

As AOL (NYSE: AOL) prepares for its Q4 earnings report tomorrow morning, the company is attempting to show that in addition to its continued shopping spree, it’s also still looking for places to cut. The company has sold content recommendation engine Surphace to fellow content aggregator Outbrain, MediaMemo reported.

AOL acquired Surphace in April 2008, when it was known as Sphere, meaning this one arrived during the previous regime. At the time the price was estimated at $25 million. It’s safe to say that AOL didn’t get anywhere near that price from Outbrain.

Even though Surphace was there before Tim Armstrong came in AOL, Sphere/Surphace was at one point considered “the next phase in AOL News” a little over a year ago that idea was quickly dropped. Still, a number of content sites — such as MediaMemo’s umbrella site, AllThingD — used Surphace, it will be interesting to see if Outbrain can help raise its profile or use its technology in a different way.