What Google's Buying - Slide 3

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Who: Aardvark, a social search engine

Amount: Around $50 million, according to TechCrunch

Why: While Google has declined to say how Aardvark's technology might be used, eWEEK notes that Google has been focused on ramping up its social computing capabilities.

At the end of 2009, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the company plans to get back into the business of acquisitions, acquiring one small company a month because it's a great way to hire talented people.

Google has done that and more. But IT Business Edge blogger Ann All wonders if Google is too insular with its acquisitions, making a habit of purchasing companies founded by Google alumnae. Still, Ann says the strategy makes sense:

“Google notoriously has so much going on that it's bound to miss opportunities to internally nurture ideas that go on to prove themselves in an outside environment. Even if it has no plans to develop them further, buying companies with products that may have germinated inside Google will at least prevent competitors from benefiting from them.”

Google has completed 40 acquisitions this year, according to PCWorld.com. With the acquisition spree it seems to be on, more are sure to come. Here are a handful of Google’s 2010 acquisitions.

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