Google Acquires Metaweb, a Web Database Company

In its official blog, the world’s search giant Google announced that it has bought Metaweb, a search company that maintains a database of information it offers to website operators, wishing to 

collect topic-specific information on their web sites. The Mountain View-based giant believes that Metaweb can help better understand the anatomy of search queries and unique requests, and thus the acquisition of this company will “improve search and make the Web richer and more meaningful.

“Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Metaweb said it will continue to support existing customers, but won’t take new ones while it’s integrating with Google. So as Microsoft’s Bing and Yahoo! advance with their Search Alliance integration, Google is definitely going to turbo charge its Search by purchasing Metaweb.

According to the Metaweb, Bing has been using Metaweb to provide Instant Answers in its SERPs and in visual search. With this feature, users can see answers to their questions displayed at the top of the Bing search results page, before the results listing. However, there is no telling now whether Google’s rival, Bing, will continue to use Metaweb.

Google will also be improving Metaweb’s creation – Freebase. It is a comprehensive and searchable database of entertainment content, such as movie and TV show data, as well as details about companies and geographic locations. Despite its rather plain interface, Google’s search engine is constantly subject to all sorts of tweaking and updating. The company has already implemented a few of new features, such as in-line search filling, suggested results before user hits the “search” button, and pop-up windows that show a snippet of a page result before the user click on it.

To sum up, Google wants to explore and leverage Metaweb’s technology to improve their rich snippet initiative as well as Google Squared project which powers Google’s quick answers.

Below is Google’s explanation about its future improvements due to Metaweb:

Type “barack obama birthday” in the search box and see the answer right at the top of the page. Or search for “events in San Jose” and see a list of specific events and dates. We can offer this kind of experience because we understand facts about real people and real events out in the world. But what about “colleges on the west coast with tuition under $30,000” or “actors over 40 who have won at least one oscar”? These are hard questions, and we’ve acquired Metaweb because we believe working together we’ll be able to provide better answers.”

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