Microsoft has managed to replace Google as the exclusive online advertising partner of Digg, the popular reader-powered news sharing site, adding up to the software maker's recent efforts to gain a stronger footing in the growing online advertising market.

Digg, with reportedly more than 17 million visitors a month, relies on content generated by its users to attract more visitors to the site. Chief Executive Jay Adelson said the company also considered partnerships with Google and Yahoo, but chose Microsoft because of the level of customization the software maker offered with its advertising platform. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

"We at Digg couldn't think of a better partner to get to where we need to go," said Adelson. "They're a young ad service, they're innovative, and they’re willing to work with us on the cutting edge."
The three-year agreement is the second major deal Microsoft has struck in the social media arena, after obtaining the right to sell and provide advertising for the fast-growing social networking site Facebook last August.