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Wikia Search Acquires Web Crawler

  • Reuters, Monday, July 30, 2007 10:46 AM
Jimmy Wales' long-delayed open-source search product, Wikia, is coming into better focus. On Friday, Wales told a conference of software developers that his company had acquired Grub, a search crawler that will help power the wiki-based search engine. As part of Wikia, it will continue to be open to developers, but Wikia will absorb its brand name. Terms were not disclosed.

"If we can get good quality search results, I think it will really change the balance of power from the search companies back to the publishers," said Wales, chairman of San Mateo, California-based Wikia. "I could be wrong about this, but it seems like a likely outcome."

In a sign that Wikia, which operates the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, is moving further away from Wikia Search competitor Google, the company last week announced that LookSmart would supply advertising across Wikia's network of wiki sites. Wikia had been using Google's advertising service. Ultimately, Wales says he wants the wiki-based search engine to be available to small publishers, like local newspapers, for customization. Wikia has raised $14 million in financing, including $10 million from Amazon.com, according to an SEC filing.

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