Google buys social search outfit Aardvark

Google has acquired a little-known social search engine provider Aardvark.

Aardvark co-founder and chief technology officer Damon Horowitz confirmed his firm had signed an agreement with Google.

Aardvark social search engine is a service which allows users to ask text questions via email or instant messenger to their friends or friends-of-friends who are able to answer their questions based on their area of expertise. Aardvark claimed it had more than 90,000 users in October 2009.

The software was developed by The Mechanical Zoo, a San Francisco-based start-up founded in 2007 by former Google employees Max Ventilla, Damon Horowitz, Rob Spiro, and Nathan Stoll.

Last month, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said the company would pick up roughly one company per month this year.