Google acquires Usenet archive from Deja.com

Privately held Goolge has bought the Usenet Discussion Service from Deja.com for an undisclosed amount, Google announced Monday. The search engine company has already taken over Usenet, which appears in a beta version at groups.google.com.

Google now owns the Usenet archive, dating back to 1995; its software; the domain names deja.com and dejanews.com; its trademarks; and other intellectual property, Google said in a news release. Usenet is linked to the Google search engine, allowing users to access the last six months of discussion postings and message threads. Google aims to have the entire archive of some 500 million messages available by the end of this calendar quarter, said Omid Kordestani, Google vice president of business development and sales, in an interview.

Deja.com had sold some of its holdings to eBay and has about 15 employees left, Kordestani said. Most of Deja's engineering team is based in Austin, Texas, with a few people in New York. Their job fates are uncertain at the moment, although Google will work closely with Deja's remaining executive staff to possibly place people in jobs at the search engine company.

"Our goal first is to take care of users," Kordestani said. The deal overall is meant to offer Google users more information via the Usenet discussion groups and archive and, likewise, to provide Usenet users, who tend to be an Internet-savvy lot, with a powerful search engine.

"We hope to win over Usenet users," Kordestani said. Undoubtedly, there is crossover in the user groups, although Kordestani said he did not know how many Google users also are Usenet fans and vice versa.

The popular Google search engine handles 70 million searches daily, with about half occurring at the company's Web site, said Google, which is based in Mountain View, Calif.

The company's name is a play on the word "googol," coined by Milton Sirotta, the nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner. The term refers to the number represented by one followed by 100 zeros. In the search engine's corporate culture, the word is meant to reflect its mission to "organize the immense amount of information available on the Web," according to the Google Web site.

This story, "Google acquires Usenet archive from Deja.com" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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