Just a quick post today to update on the Google/ Digg acquisition.
It turns out that we missed this late last week but Google has officially pulled out of its proposed purchase of Digg for $200 million.
The rumour had been circulating for months that Google was looking to add social bookmarking site Digg to its catalogue of acquisitions. The proposal was worrying for Microsoft who only last year signed a three year advertising deal with Digg which would have been extinguished.
“Sources close to the companies suggested that some issue that came up during technical due diligence was to blame”. and that “that the issue was more personality driven, and that Google decided after spending more time with Digg’s top team that there just wasn’t a fit.”
Many had debated the proposed acquisition with Google having a varied track record when it came to buying popular social networks. YouTube was one success story with the purchase of Jaiku as big a failure user-sign ups having been closed for the last 10 months.
Former employees of search giant Google today launched a rival search engine called Cuil which founders claim does a better and more comprehensive job of indexing information online.
The engine is constructed to index content on the web in relation to the context surrounding to web page, and concepts driving search requests.
Needless to say that due to the shear size of Google Cuil cannot hope to match and defeat Google immediately, and many analysts believe it will struggle to put a dent in Googles 70% US market share in the long term too.
The name was conceived from the Gaelic word for Knowledge and Hazel and is pronounced ‘cool’. Results are also displayed in a magazine format with a introduction paragraph as opposed to a list format in Google with a text snippet summarising the page.
One of the corner stones in the search engines marketing strategy is that is doesn’t retain any information on what users search for, a policy of Google’s that has resulted in several high profile cases, as governments request these logs of user search data.
Already Cuil boasts to have indexed over 120 billion web pages and is claimed that is more than Google users to deliver the most relevant pages for any given search query. This is however improvable as Google has stopped publically releasing how many pages it indexes.
“The time may be right for a challenger,” said Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of Search Engine Land. “Competing with Google is still a very daunting task, as Microsoft will tell you.”
Yahoo has implemented technology into it search facility that will provide a warning for users if they are about to click onto a site that hosts viruses, spyware or spam.
Using SiteAdvisor from McAfee Yahoo will warn users via a SearchScan facility of potentially risky sites. The SearchScan facility will be in place as default to produce on screen alerts to its users.
“Our goal is to protect users by allowing them to make a more informed decision about the sites they visit,” said Yahoo’s Priyank Garg.
The tool that is being introduced as a free embedded tool which will warn users of three types of security risks, browser exploits, dangerous downloads and unsolicited emails.
The facility went live today and an example error warning can be seen with a search for ‘free music’ with a red explanation mark highlighting potentially hazardous sites.
By teaming up with McAfee Yahoo are trying to calm fears from users who accidentally click on wrong links in search results.
“Yahoo users have clearly told us that among the most important concerns for them are all these lurking threats on the Internet,” said Priyank Garg, director of product management for Yahoo’s search division. “They know the damage they can do but they don’t know how to protect themselves.“
The add on demonstrates Yahoo’s plan to grab a bigger proportion of the search market amid a recent financial slump after a takeover bid from Microsoft was withdrawn seeing shares slump by 15%.