This week has again spread the rumour that Google wants to buy totally Digg, which rumour is repeated almost every month. Indeed, since TechCrunch states that there is already offer on the table and round about 200 million dollars, and that the operation will end in about two weeks. Leaving aside the money and whether it is overvalued or not, we will comment on the reasons that Google may want to buy this successful web service.
To begin with, it is clear, Digg is the best advertising space in the already Cansino Web 2.0, and proof of this is that, although still is a startup, is profitable almost from day one. Here is the first, obvious and boring, why would you simply Google a very good one site mature content to exploit it commercially. A recent example and totally opposite is the case with Youtube: the community is enormous and attention is very high, but it is very difficult to recoup. Digg does not have that problem, maintenance costs are largely outweighed by the gains of its current ads, and there still is room.
Secondly, it is probably important in the long run, Google has been keen to develop its search algorithm with the votes of its visitors. Last week Sacha told us how Google returned again to try experimentally the votes in the searches, evidence that seem to repeat every six months. Therefore it is very likely an evolution.
Another question is whether it will be well received by all users or not, so I doubt that is a feature by default, but who wants to vote and see the ballots would have to explicitly ask for it. Okay, that’s not happened for example in Google Reader, which by default are the elements shared by all your contacts and you have to, manually delete those that do not interest you. But I think it’s a situation quite different, because the Google search is the core business and politics has always been making small changes without changing virtually nothing of the initial design, and with Google Reader and are at least three major redesign. So you add all these buttons because it would be probably the biggest change in its history, and it would be counterproductive for their casual users. Although if they improve outcomes, any change is welcome.
Another possible reason for which Google is very interested in Digg is to enhance its Google News. With the problems and complaints that generate media towards Google News in particular, would not be strange to rethink this section of Google as a search engine news mainly shipped to Digg. In other words, the same thing happened with Google Video when they bought a Youtube. This comparison is interesting because Google Video not only feeds on Youtube, but basa were in other pages of videos of others.
Thus although Digg has expanded its themes since its launch as a portal technology and science, can not be considered as the sole source of information among other things because he is very focused on American culture. So integrating multiple pages to promote news that have lowered the unit now in the media? Traditional?. Especially since Google News, as it is designed now, it’s very difficult to recoup because the media have already linked with demands threat to Google if you plan to plant their ads there. Obviously I’m not saying that they will ignore, but the more fragmented and dispersed are, the better for Google.
Finally, Google wants to further strengthen its cloud of services, and I think that almost any additional service will improve this cloud. The problem is to always, that monopoly is increasingly close, but is that from day one that came to bag that has been the main reason that shareholders have opted for it, because it will become a de facto monopoly in a field with so much future as the Internet. If not already.
As an additional factor, Google has long been one wants to socialize, still has not quite clear how but you know that with a typical social network (such as Orkut) has it very difficult. So integrating various services such as Google Reader, Digg, Gmail, Gtalk, iGoogle and others, might achieve what both craves: a super social network where users can do almost anything without leaving the cloud of Google. And if metes in the formula to Open Social virtually Google is saying: do not care where you talk with your friends, we want a Cachito of this traffic, and we do not want another website (read Facebook) have 100% of your attention.
And of course that Google could make a Digg from scratch, it is clear that what they are buying is not the code, but the community and the original idea. Although it is quite confused with the community around Google, what interests them is not a number (also), but a good user base with desire and motivation to send hundreds of news a day or without receiving a euro in return. <br><br> <br> It is clear that something very similar could mount even with Google Reader (as pointed out Antonio Ortiz), but would have an entry barrier very different from Digg. Let me explain: to use the Google search engine do not need any account, just go and what you use. To see Digg the same thing, and what you order, and only if you want to contribute, you need an account, but before you’ve tried to create a good part of the Digg experience. Instead, you need to use Google Reader, in addition to the account, select yourself sources, is that the entry barrier that does not exist in Digg and that makes it may have more impact outside. That, Google Reader or recreate from scratch, or it is impossible to achieve.
On the other side of the purchase, is so obvious that I am ashamed to say so. Apart from simply by money, which is not little, Digg, or rather, their community, gain relatively to the purchase because it would be a big boost in the Real World. Almost I daresay that quickly became the most important means of communication and influential of the Anglo-Saxon internet, well above the rest of journalists made by conventional means.
Yes, now is also quite important, but if Google gives its support to the same thing could happen with Youtube, web page to those who have never touched a computer knows that it exists. The price to pay would be greater overcrowding and a loss of independence, so I have no doubt that there was some resistance from current users, that this would act as the final step of corruption Digg seeking new audiences. All this if Google manages to quickly attach to your Digg cloud, which is not always the case.
It is time to end the inning, which seems being longer than it expected, but that the matter is quite crumb. Stay tuned to Genbeta, and be within five or six months we will comment on this rumour, and even TechCrunch may again be the source.