Google Hearts Digg Rumors Resurface
For the third time this year speculation has aroused around an impending sale of Digg.com to Google. Is the third time a charm? We may not know for a couple of weeks, but at least this latest round of slow-news-day maybes has a rumored letter of intent and a believe-it-or-not deadline.
The rumored price is a bit lower than the last two times, dropping from $300 million to $250 million and now to $200 million, according Michael Arrington’s sources, which makes the possible deal reminiscent of Microsoft’s continually-shrinking-offers for Yahoo.
Adding another level to the speculation is more speculation about why Google would want Digg in the first place. Venture Beat’s Eric Eldon questions why Google couldn’t just build its own Digg-like service similar to Yahoo’s Buzz and AOL’s Propeller (formerly residing at Netscape), both of which have enjoyed success, the former grabbing three million more users than Digg. Eldon guesses it has something to do with Google’s apparent "fascination" with the Digg voting system and Digg’s homegrown algorithm.
But, if I may add to the guessing game, here are some other nifty reasons:
- Wouldn’t it be fun to take yet another small piece of the pie from Microsoft? The advertising deal the Vole set up with Digg would be nixed in the advent of a Google acquisition.
- Or likely: Unlike its competitors, Digg’s audience isn’t a diverse one in general: mostly young male technophiles. Six million of them. Google also just happens own a very expensive contextual advertising company that may have some clients just itching to grab that audience.
- Way out there in could-be land: Larry Page and Sergey Brin have secret avatars on the site and both have secretly coveted the site for years and just have to have it so they can bury or promote their favorite Dark Knight stories.
Well, whatever. We’ll know soon enough.