Google Snags Semantic Web Firm Metaweb

Google Snags Semantic Web Firm Metaweb

In the latest in a string of acquisitions, Google has unveiled plans to purchase Metaweb, a firm that maintains a vast open source database of information about objects in the real world.

Through the acquisition, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) aims to provide a smarter search engine that will be able to retrieve more specific answers to complex queries.

“The Web isn’t merely words — it’s information about things in the real world, and understanding the relationships between real-world entities can help us deliver relevant information more quickly,” Jack Menzel, Google’s director of product management, wrote in a blog post.

Metaweb’s Freebase database houses information on more than 12 million items, such as locations, books, movies, restaurants and businesses.

By pairing the Freebase database with Google’s sprawling and ever-growing index of the Web, the company hopes to endow its search engine with a more sophisticated understanding of what users mean when they type search queries.

The notion of leveraging the metadata associated with online content to create a smarter, more human-like search engine is a central pillar of efforts grouped broadly under the umbrella of the Semantic Web.

“Working together we want to improve search and make the Web richer and more meaningful for everyone,” Menzel said.

With Metaweb, Google envisions a search engine that could offer neatly ordered results to complex queries that would draw on the real-world attributes housed in the Freebase database. A query for “colleges on the west coast with tuition under $30,000,” for instance, might produce a list of schools filtered by geography and price.

“These are hard questions, and we’ve acquired Metaweb because we believe working together we’ll be able to provide better answers,” Menzel said.

Keeping Metaweb free and open source

Google also confirmed that it will continue to maintain Metaweb’s database as a free and open source endeavor, and encouraged other Web companies to contribute.

Metaweb took the occasion of the acquisition to announce that it will begin issuing its downloadable database updates (full “data dumps” of all current facts and assertions in Freebase) on a weekly basis, upping the frequency from what has been a quarterly release cycle.

For Google, the acquisition of Metaweb continues a string of recent purchases of mostly smaller, startup firms with specialized technologies that would complement one of the company’s product lines, such as search, video or mobile.

The company has also made a couple of larger buys of late, gobbling up the mobile ad network AdMob for $750 million, and more recently shelling out $700 million for the online travel service ITA.

Google endured a prolonged antitrust review with the AdMob deal, and officials have said that they expect continued government scrutiny to accompany the large purchases the company makes in the future, including ITA.

Share the Post:
XDR solutions

The Benefits of Using XDR Solutions

Cybercriminals constantly adapt their strategies, developing newer, more powerful, and intelligent ways to attack your network. Since security professionals must innovate as well, more conventional endpoint detection solutions have evolved

AI is revolutionizing fraud detection

How AI is Revolutionizing Fraud Detection

Artificial intelligence – commonly known as AI – means a form of technology with multiple uses. As a result, it has become extremely valuable to a number of businesses across

AI innovation

Companies Leading AI Innovation in 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been transforming industries and revolutionizing business operations. AI’s potential to enhance efficiency and productivity has become crucial to many businesses. As we move into 2023, several

data fivetran pricing

Fivetran Pricing Explained

One of the biggest trends of the 21st century is the massive surge in analytics. Analytics is the process of utilizing data to drive future decision-making. With so much of

kubernetes logging

Kubernetes Logging: What You Need to Know

Kubernetes from Google is one of the most popular open-source and free container management solutions made to make managing and deploying applications easier. It has a solid architecture that makes

ransomware cyber attack

Why Is Ransomware Such a Major Threat?

One of the most significant cyber threats faced by modern organizations is a ransomware attack. Ransomware attacks have grown in both sophistication and frequency over the past few years, forcing

data dictionary

Tools You Need to Make a Data Dictionary

Data dictionaries are crucial for organizations of all sizes that deal with large amounts of data. they are centralized repositories of all the data in organizations, including metadata such as