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?
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.