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from the L.A. Times

Google acquires Metaweb to bolster Web services

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Google has acquired online database provider Metaweb, the search giant announced Friday. Metaweb logo  

Metaweb provides an online database of "over 12 million things" that range from information on college tuition to data on gadgets. The service is designed for website owners who want to extend the functionality of their sites by making the company's database content available to users.

According to Google, the addition of Metaweb to its team will help it improve its search offering. Currently, Google Search displays answers to simple questions -- such as "What time is it?" -- at the top of its results page, rather than force users to go to another site. Metaweb will help Google Search answer more complex questions, such as "How many actors who are more than 40 years old have won an Oscar?" 

Google plans to use Metaweb's database to deliver the answers in its results.

Google said it would continue to operate Metaweb's Freebase Web database. Users can find data included in the database and add content.

Metaweb joins a growing list of companies that Google has acquired recently, including mobile-advertising firm AdMob and social-search service Aardvark.

Google did not disclose the details of its Metaweb acquisition.

-- Don Reisinger

twitter.com/donreisinger

 
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