Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has purchased Metaweb, a heavily-backed startup which has been compiling a grand database on more than 12 million “things,” from movies to locations, which it then provides to site owners so that they can add the information to their sites.
(A representative example, according to Metaweb: “If you were designing a page about Will Smith, a single query to Metaweb could get you rich metadata about him, an image, updates from his Facebook page, recent New York Times (NYSE: NYT) headlines about him, a gallery of his movies from Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), links to his pages on Wikipedia and IMDb, and a list of related topics your users might want to explore.”)
Google says it’s buying Metaweb to improve its search results, In a blog post, it ties the deal to its recent efforts to include short answers to some fact-seeking queries directly on its search pages, saying that “together (with Metaweb) we’ll be able to provide better answers” to more complex queries.
As we’ve noted in the past, this is very much the way the search market appears to be headed. Microsoft