Seems the major search engines are finally jumping on the social news bandwagon? Yahoo! is the latest to delve into the social news space with the rumored launch of Yahoo! Buzz.
Yahoo! Buzz will be a news aggregator that will rank news based on popular search results and user voting in the same way that DIGG has been doing for years.
We recently reported on the launch of Ask BigNews, a social overhaul of its existing news site. Ask.com uses its “Bigfactor” to determine the importance of news items, which is determined based on recency, associated buzz and linkage to the story.
The rumored Yahoo! Buzz will work in a similar way, but with one significant difference. Only sites that display ads from its publisher network will be shown in the Yahoo! Buzz results.
screenshot preview from Valleywag. Full range of screenshots here.
This bias towards Yahoo!’s Publisher network will compromise the real value of the service. I’m not suggesting sites that publish Yahoo! ads are of a lesser quality, but when I use a news aggregator, I want to be sure I have access to all news sources – not just the ones that line the aggregator’s pocket.
The new site is expected to be launched on the 26th Feb 2008 at buzz.yahoo.com (which currently tracks popular searches).
So Ask.com has done it, Yahoo! are about to do it, the questions remains – “when will Google and Microsoft jump on board the social news wagon?” My guess is we’ll see something from Google in the next 6 months. With Microsoft’s M&A agenda – who knows?