buys trio of online reference sites

Posted by Mark Raby

Oakland (CA) -, the flagging online search destination, has acquired Lexico Publishing Group, an Internet media company that owns and  It also purchased philologist-friendly site (which you can use to figure out the meaning of that word). hopes this will rebrand itself as an Internet specialist in answering questions instead of providing blanket search results.

"We want to 'super serve'" people who are looking for specific information, said the head of Jim Safka in an AP story.  He added that 30% of current users are looking for certain reference material. has been fighting vehemently to remain a viable competitor in an industry overwhelmingly dominated by Google and Yahoo.  In the last year alone, it completely revamped its privacy policy, innovated the front page by allowing users to place custom designs in the background and shifted its search algorithm twice.

Safka said this is the beginning of a new focus for the company.  "It's the first tangible piece of the puzzle," he noted., which is seen as the most valuable of's acquisitions, currently brings in around 22 million viewers per month.

The latest Comscore ratings for search websites placed at fifth with less than 5% of the market share.