It’s not obvious why Linkedin (LNKD) acquired the search engine Indextank. After all, Google (GOOG) provides site-search softwarefree of charge to anyone who wants it. Why pay for something — even at a price so small it’s undisclosed — when you can get it for free? And why bother competing with Google anyway when search is clearly not Linkedin’s core competency?
In a blog item, IndexTank CEO Diego Basch does a horrible job of explaining the rationale for the buyout — something about being “excited” and a network of Ghana “artisanal” fisherman. Whatever.
Here are two sensible possibilities that explain why Linkedin is suddenly interested in search: