Google has announced the acquisition of five-year-old internet database startup Metaweb, in an effort to improve its search services.
The company said in a blog post that Metaweb technology will allow it to offer results for more specific queries such as "colleges on the west coast with tuition under $30,000" or "actors over 40 who have won at least one Oscar".
Writing on the blog, Jack Menzel, Google's director of product management, wrote: “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.”
Google has also announced that the company will be working towards developing Metaweb's free, open database, Freebase, which contains information on over 12 million search topics including movies, books, TV shows, celebrities, locations and companies.
The company has vowed to continue working towards expanding the data on Freebase and incorporate it in its search service.
Menzel said: "We plan to contribute to and further develop Freebase and would be delighted if other web companies use and contribute to the data. We believe that by improving Freebase, it will be a tremendous resource to make the web richer for everyone. And to the extent the web becomes a better place, this is good for webmasters and good for users."