I quickly wrote up the announced acquisition of social search engine/answer engine Aardvark by Google over at Internet2Go. Fifty million will buy a lot of cheese-puffs I don’t mind telling you.
Much more intriguing is how Google will put the service to work (my speculation):
- Human/Aardvark answers in SERPs
- Didn’t find what you were looking for? “Ask a human” in SERPs (less likely)
- Geotagged/geo-coded Aardvark answers/recommendations in Maps, Buzz, Latitude and/or on Place Pages
Here’s the most wacky scenario: Aardvark or the technology inside (like Live Person) might be eventually used to offer a quasi-professional, distributed call-center-like resource like for customer support.
The acquisition is both offensive but also potentially defensive in a couple of ways. Aardvark itself was likely never going to topple or steal real volume from Google. But the concept of a P2P service that offers an alternative to Google is threatening (think Facebook). Aardvark gives Google that capability now.
How do you think Aardvark will be used?