Wikia Moves Forward on Open Source Search Strategy

Lora Bentley

Jimmy Wales is concerned about Google's commanding presence in the search arena, according to GigaOM. Wales' for-profit company, Wikia, launched its own search engine earlier this year in an effort to make a dent in Google's market share. Last week, the company took the next step in its search strategy: It acquired Looksmart's distributed crawler, Grub.


Wikia plans to make Grub available under an open source license. Wales is banking that open source search tools will "keep Google honest."


But blogger Om Malik says "Wales faces an uphill climb." There must be enough people using Grub and coding enhancements to it. And observers are concerned that much of what Grub retrieves is "spammy" or even malicious.


If the idea takes off to the extent Wales hopes it will, open source search could lead to specialized or "vertical" search engines that could, in effect, inflict "death by a thousand cuts" on Google and others like it.

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