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Google Pays $50M for an Anteater



Remember when I asked if social search engine Aardvark might suffer from "participation fatigue" as its members grow tired of answering the questions of others.

Yeah, you can forget about that, because Aardvark was just acquired by Google for a cool $50 million.

< I can hear CEO Max Ventilla now: "I’ve got your participation fatigue, right here, Andy!" ;-) >

Anyway, I thought Google was out of the "using humans to answer questions" business? I thought all of our search problems were going to be solved by robots and algorithms?

I have no insider knowledge on why Google made the buy, so I’ll just wildly speculate as normal.

Perhaps, it’s because Aardvark was gaining ground in the mobile search space. Something I speculated a couple of weeks back:

Combined with the revelation that more people use Aardvark on their cell phones than their desktops–which some predict is the future hot area for search–and you could easily surmise that Aardvark is poised to kick Google’s butt.

Not that Google had anything to fear now, but it was probably a shrewd move to pay $50M now and get one competitor out of the game. Hmm, I wonder if they’ll acquire KGB next?

Now we just have to see what will happen to Aardvark. Will it become the next Dodgeball or GrandCentral?