The New York Times has closed its $300 million deal to sell About.com to IAC’s Ask.com business, the companies announced today.
While Answers.com was originally named as a potential buyer, the New York Times ended up announcing the sale of About.com to Barry Diller’s IAC conglomerate for $300 million about a month ago. At the time, the New York Times said it would use the cash for “general corporate purposes.”
The Times purchased About.com for $410 million back in 2005, but the site and its related properties have become less valuable over time due to changes in Google’s algorithms. About.com used to have much higher rankings in search for its articles about everything. About.com hosts nearly 1,000 topic sites and more than three million articles.
In theory, IAC could use its experience with numerous web properties to rehabilitate About.com and fold its content into Ask.com, which is still surprisingly popular for online questions-and-answers. The Ask Network ranked No. 7 on comScore’s July 2012 list of top U.S. web properties.