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Ask Acquires Knowledge Websites

Search engine Ask.com has announced that it will buy the Lexicon Publishing Group which owns a number of knowledge websites like Dictionary.com, thesaurus.com and reference.com.

Ask.com, which is currently joint fourth with AOL behind the trio of search giants that commands the global market, is owned by advertising giants IAC and serves more than 130 million customers worldwide to which Lexico will add 15 millions according to Comscore.

The combined network of online properties would propel the Ask network in the top ten list of largest web properties in terms of unique users, in front of Apple and Facebook.

The acquisition by Ask of Lexicon makes sense according to Jim Safka, CEO of Ask.com, who highlights the fact that the term Dictionary is the second most popular word on Ask in 2007 and ranks high across other popular search engines as well.

Furthermore, more than six billion searches that include dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedia queries are performed each year according to Internet Analyst Comscore, according for 30 percent of Ask's searches.

Surprisingly, Lexicon employs only 20 people but ended up generating 15.6 million Unique Users, a year on year growth of 30 percent and Ask.com has already hinted that it will start using other resources like videos to increase page views even more.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.