Ask.com And Norton In Search Deal, Neither Company To Be Saved (IACI, SYMC)

Will Google’s (GOOG) highly-publicized snafu in which it flagged the entire Internet as “harmful” cause people to distrust its “this site may be harmful to your computer” warnings and embrace other search engines / security solutions instead?

Frankly, we doubt it, but that’s the hope at Ask.com, which has announced a deal with Symantec (SYMC) to bring website security ratings to IAC’s (IACI) fifth-place search engine.

Under the “multi-year, strategic partnership” between IAC and Symantec, web searches initiated from the toolbar on the Norton security suite will run on Ask.com, with a colour-coded icon informing websurfers of a site’s security level.

Ask.com currently gets an abysmal 2.3% of the search market share. The deal will probably help IAC generate more hits, and perhaps even snag fourth-place in the search race from AOL Search (TWX), but it’s hardly a game-changer. Might help a bit with Ask.com’s search arbitrage business.

As for Symantec, financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed. But with Microsoft (MSFT) set to release a Norton-competitor (“Morro”) for free, Symantec needs whatever revenue it can find.

See Also:
Microsoft Makes Security Software Free, Symantec and McAfee Screwed
Ask.com Isn’t Search, It’s Search Arbitrage
Creepy Ask.com Commercials Not Helping

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