Yahoo Acquires Inquisitor

    May 9, 2008

There isn’t a dollar sign followed by a long string of digits to gape at, but Yahoo’s latest acquisition is still creating some questions.  Instead of some search or advertising company, the target was Inquisitor, a Safari browser plug-in.


David Watanabe created the Search Assist-like technology.  He won’t be joining Yahoo, so this isn’t some sort of personnel grab.  Also, even though Inquisitor will use Yahoo as the default search engine, users will be able to switch to Google, Live Search, or whatever else they like, so market shares won’t necessarily be affected.

As for ad revenue, Inquisitor, which is free, is bringing in exactly none at the moment.  Inquisitor was relying on affiliate ad links, and those have been removed.

On the Yahoo Search Blog, Ariel Seidman, Yahoo’s director of product management, only explained the acquisition as a matter of "embracing the Mac community."  He wrote, "Just as with Search Assist, the goal with Inquisitor is to help users find exactly the site they’re looking for as quickly as possible."

Neither Seidman nor Watanabe disclosed how much Inquisitor cost.  A hat tip, in any event, goes to Kristen Nicole.