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Monday, March 3, 2008

Is Surrendering Its Search Engine To Google?

Posted by @ 4:42 am

Blogs were a buzz on Friday after speculation surfaced that IAC/InterActiveCorp (’s parent company) were planning on dumping Teoma, the’s search engine, in favor of Google’s search results.

The rumors first appeared via Peter Kafka’s post on Silicon Valley Insider, where he shared this comment from an apparent “insider”:

There is indeed a big shakeup coming. A new Ask. Some think a reduction in workforce is likely. There are no sacred cows, Teoma may be sold or simply abandoned which is hundreds of engineers who work on the core search engine, in place of just using Google’s search with our special brand of user interface.

With the rumors believed to be the cause of a 7% decline in IAC’s share price on Friday, the search world waited with bated breath for confirmation from the IAC ranks on the speculation.

Alas, it was not forthcoming. In fact, the opposite happened, with a source close to the matter reporting to Reuters that the blog report was “incorrect”.

Silicon Valley Insider was quick with their “right of reply” suggesting that if the rumors were incorrect, that should consider dumping Teoma nonetheless. And given that the all speculation thus far has been from undisclosed “sources”, SVI added the following quip to their update post:

Not clear whether IAC has finally reached a decision on Teoma or whether our source has fresher information (or is hallucinating).

Given the time and money has invested in its search technology, it would be a surprising move to dump Teoma now. That said, all Ask’s re-engineering and marketing still hasn’t bridged the gap between the former Search Engine Butler and Google.

Perhaps it’s a case of cutting costs – and conceding “if you can’t beat em, join em”.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

Discussion (3 - comments)

Hi – as a spokesperson for, I hope I can weigh in here once and for all and quelch the rumor that ‘the plug is bing pulled’ on our search technology, Teoma. It’s not. Teoma remains. That’s all there is to it!
Best to all, Nicholas Graham

By Nicholas Graham - March 4, 2008

Thanks for the confirmation Nicholas. Given the effort you guys have put into Teoma – it makes sense to see it through.

And let’s face it – competition for Google is a good thing.

By Rene LeMerle - March 4, 2008

Yeah just uses Google to do PPC arbitrage anyway.

By JDog - March 15, 2008

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