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Who Will Google Buy Next?

By Andrevan in Internet
Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 02:05:53 AM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)

Google is the new Internet behemoth, snatching up small companies left and right. So, in this article, I ask: what tech gems are in the running for Google's growing subsidiary menagerie? To help predict, I will first take a look at who Google has acquired in the past and what Google has done for them, and then I'll throw out a few possibilities for Googlification and discuss where they might fit into Google's strategy.

Google's past conquests have been varied, but they have all been smallish Internet companies that are doing cool stuff. I'll go through them here, with a brief blurb about how they were acquired, and what has changed in the post-Google era.

Deja News (Google Groups) - This web-based Usenet archive started life in 1995. Between 1999 and 2000, Deja overexpanded into a comparison shopping portal. Losing money, Deja sold the shopping component to eBay in late 2000, and it became part of Half.com. In February 2001, the big G entered the game and snatched up the Usenet archives, reintroducing them as Google Groups and extending them back to 1981 with the help of private collections. Today, Google Groups features Deja's Usenet, mailing lists, and Yahoo! Groups-esque features with a Gmail-like interface.

Outride - Outride, Inc. was an information retrieval spin-off from Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Google acquired certain technology assets in September 2001 and quickly integrated them into its search engine. Outride.net currently forwards to Google.

Applied Semantics - Google bought up this contextual advertising company in April 2003 and used it for its AdSense/AdWords services, allowing it to compete with Yahoo!'s Overture.

Kaltix - This 3-person personalized search startup company was quickly picked up by Google in September 2003. Kaltix formed the foundation of Google Personalized Search. Kaltix.com currently forwards to Google.

Blogger - Blogger was the flagship product of Pyra Labs. For a long time, Blogger was free of fees and ads, but it wasn't making money. After the original capital for Pyra dried up, a number of employees resigned, including the co-founder. In an effort to become profitable, Pyra introduced the ad-powered Blogspot hosting and the pay Blogger Pro service. It wasn't quite enough, and Pyra needed more resources, so Google stepped in during 2003. Blogger was redesigned by professional web designers in May 2004, and is now one of the most-used blogging tools.

Picasa - Picasa, a $30 photo organizer program, was first released in October 2001. In May 2004, Picasa announced integration with the Google-owned Blogger, and in July 2004, Google bought the company. Soon, Picasa was free, and it featured Google trademarks like an "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. The software routinely wins awards from leading PC publications.

Keyhole - Keyhole is a digital mapping company founded in 2001. Presumably to cut out the middleman for the not-yet-released Google Maps, Google bought them in October 2004. Since then, there has been an immediate price reduction for the Keyhole software (from $69.95 to $29.95), and integrated satellite photos in Google Maps.

Zipdash - Google acquired this traffic/mapping company in 2004 and put it to work in Google Maps. Although the acquisition was not publicized, Zipdash is mentioned in Google's 2004 annual report.

Where2 - This Australian mapping company was also mentioned in the 2004 annual report, but not much is known about it. It also had something to do with Google Maps.

Urchin - In March 2005, Google acquired Urchin, a web analytics and statistics company. Though we haven't yet seen what they're up to with it, it will probably be used with AdWords/AdSense, with statistics about clickthroughs and such.

Dodgeball - Google acquired this two-person cell phone social networking company in May 2005. The company was looking for investors, and Google apparently fit the bill. So far, nothing has happened with this company, but it will probably have something to do with Google Mobile.

So those are the companies Google has acquired. A common misconception is that Google has only been acquisitive since its (in)famous IPO. As shown here, however, the IPO has only made it easier for Google to buy companies it likes. Pre-IPO, from 2001 to August 2004, Google acquired 6 companies. Post-IPO, from August 2004 on, Google has acquired 5 companies. In the year since the IPO, Google has almost matched the number of companies it acquired in the prior three years.

Now that we've taken a good look at the past, here are my picks for the companies Google should, could, will, may, perhaps is considering to, would be cool if they were to, might acquire.

Sensible Acquisitions
These companies are tossed around quite a bit by bloggers as possible Google fodder, and they would integrate well with Google's current offerings and its future strategy. They're all pretty small companies, but quickly becoming popular among web users in the know. No surprises here.

Technorati - If Google is the average person's homepage, Technorati is the homepage of the underground, tech-savvy web user. Technorati is a blog portal whose average visitor enjoys podcasts, Wikipedia, and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Providing more cutting edge results than a normal search engine, Technorati would integrate well with Google News and/or Blogger, and could perhaps feature blogs on the Google Personalized Homepage. Technorati is somewhat similar to Bloglines, which was purchased by Ask Jeeves recently.

Buzznet - Yahoo! beat Google to the punch by acquiring Flickr, one of my candidates in the first draft of this article. Like Flickr, Buzznet is a photo hosting and sharing service that features unique tagging features. It is possible to browse by tag and see all sorts of interesting stuff. Buzznet would probably jibe with Picasa's Hello photo posting service, perhaps include some sort of photo-Blogger, and integrate well with Orkut.

Koders - Koders is a search engine for open source code that works remarkably well. With the recent push for plugins for Google Desktop search, Koders would be an interesting addition to Google's software initiatives. It would make sense to combine with Google Code and Google Linux Search in some way.

GuruNet (Answers.com) - Recently, Google stopped linking to definitions on Dictionary.com, and started linking to Answers.com instead. Answers features a wealth of information about different topics, and uses Wikipedia for much of it. Since Wikipedia's non-profit status rules it out as a potential Google acquisition, Answers.com would be the next best thing. It also would help improve Google Q&A quite a bit. Interestingly, GuruNet is a publicly traded company (AMEX: GRU) with a market cap of about $100 million.

del.icio.us - This social bookmarking and tagging application could be used to improve Google search results, and perhaps integrate with Orkut in some way. Were Google to buy Buzznet as suggested above, this would work well with it.

StumbleUpon - This unique browser plugin and service would probably improve Google results and add a new level to the venerable search engine. It would probably combine with the Google Toolbar in some fashion, since the two have some similar functions.

Propel - Similar to Google Web Accelerator, Propel claims to speed up your browsing experience. The company is run by optical mouse inventor Steven T. Kirsch, who is no stranger to buyouts: his Frame Technology Corp. was purchased by Adobe, and his Infoseek was bought by Disney. This could help Google out with Web Accelerator, which it has been having trouble with.

From Left Field
Here are some companies you probably haven't heard of, and some companies you know very well that fit in less well with the Google plan. It is not too likely that any of these will be bought by Google, but keep in mind, most of Google's past acquisitions have been unexpected.

Audioscrobbler/Last.fm - So far, Google hasn't made any inroads into the music industry. However, these sites together form an interesting, Google-ish service that uses algorithms reminiscent of PageRank to calculate the top artists and similar info.

TiVo - TiVo is a little too big and a little too well-known to be bought by Google. Also, Google's experience with hardware is limited to Google Search Appliances and similar. But, TiVo would work well with Google Video. TiVo seems to fit better with Apple Computer's media plans than it does with Google's geek mentality, though.

Icosystem - This swarm intelligence company might be useful for radical new spidering algorithms or some new form of PageRank. It's only peripherally Google-ish, though.

Monster - Monster is the most popular job search site. Some bloggers have tossed this idea around, touting various forms of integration with other Google services. They also mention that Yahoo! owns HotJobs. However, one wonders whether Google is interested in this market at all.

Coral - This caching service would probably be interesting and useful for Google's own cache. However, it is run by NYU, so it's not a commercial company, and may not be up for grabs.

The Open Directory Project - The definitive web directory has long been partnered with Google for the Google Directory. But the Google Directory hasn't been updated in a very long time, and it still sports the old tabbed Google design, which lacks links to Froogle and Google Local. Although the ODP is owned by Netscape, Google should have sufficient cash to acquire it since the IPO.

Stayhealthy/Fitness Expert - This online health company doesn't offer content a la WebMD, instead providing health and fitness hardware, self-test kits, and a kiosk joint-ventured with IBM. The hardware interface is web-based. As with TiVo, Google's limited hardware experience may be a problem, and one wonders whether Google is interested in the health and fitness space.

World66 - World66 could be Google's answer to Yahoo! Travel, with some work. Its Wiki style, however, might be too wild for Google's liking.

My Way - This image ad and popup-free page is very Google-like. However, it's redundant to existing Google offerings, and these days having no popups isn't as big a deal as it was 3 years ago. It might compete with Yahoo!'s portal, though.

So there you have it, my picks for Google's next additions, and some less likely, but nonetheless interesting, possibilities.

There are also a number of other companies that would appear to be a good match for Google, but cannot be for various reasons. Many of these include non-profits like The Internet Archive or Wikipedia. Others like IMDb are owned by other larger companies which would not sell them (in this case Amazon.com), and still others are open-source driven like BitTorrent or the Mozilla Foundation (also a non-profit) and would not make a good fit in a corporate environment.

Many of the companies listed above might not be considered by Google alone. Microsoft, Apple, Amazon.com, Adobe, and Yahoo! are just a few of the web giants that have made it a habit of buying attractive Internet companies. I bet they're regretting that they never approached Google itself with an offer!


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o Yahoo
o Google
o Deja News
o Google Groups
o eBay
o Half.com
o Yahoo! Groups
o Gmail
o AdSense
o AdWords
o Yahoo!
o Overture
o Google Personalized Search
o Blogger
o Pyra Labs
o Picasa
o Keyhole
o Google Maps
o Zipdash
o Urchin
o Dodgeball
o Google Mobile
o Technorati
o Personaliz ed Homepage
o Bloglines
o Ask Jeeves
o Buzznet
o Orkut
o Koders
o plugins for Google Desktop search
o Google Code
o Google Linux Search
o GuruNet
o Answers.co m
o Google Q&A
o del.icio.u s
o StumbleUpo n
o Google Toolbar
o Propel
o Audioscrob bler
o Last.fm
o TiVo
o Google Video
o Apple Computer
o Icosystem
o Monster
o Coral
o The Open Directory Project
o Google Directory
o Stayhealth y
o Fitness Expert
o WebMD
o World66
o My Way
o The Internet Archive
o Wikipedia
o IMDb
o BitTorrent
o the Mozilla Foundation
o Microsoft
o Apple
o Amazon.com
o Adobe
o Also by Andrevan

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Who Will Google Buy Next? | 78 comments (70 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
No health/fitness (3.00 / 4) (#4)
by elver on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 04:50:08 PM EST

Health/fitness stuff isn't "googley", for the lack of a better word. Monster and Wikipedia, however, are. And Wikipedia's been having server issues in the past. I wouldn't be surprised if Google were to at least donate some servers to them.

The problem with Google "buying" Wikipedia is that it's got nowhere to put it. The "definition" links already point to answers.com and adding a "wikipedia" link to it would add too much visual noise for the average user. It wouldn't look clean.

However, as for Wikipedia links on the answers.com page then yeah, I can see that happening.

Googlepedia (3.00 / 3) (#12)
by rusty on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 03:09:51 AM EST

Google offered to donate servers and bandwidth to Wikpedia in February. And now Yahoo has atempted to beat them to it. It's like some kind of retarded altruism bubble.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Google + Wikipedia = Google Answers (none / 0) (#34)
by malfunct on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 08:01:48 PM EST

The way that google would integrate something like that is that for certain types of "questions" in the search engine that can be answered by a wikipedia article the first link would be to wikipedia and it would be separate and special like the encarta answers on msn search.

[ Parent ]
Google answers by Wikipedia (none / 0) (#66)
by rusty on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 10:04:19 PM EST

I don't think they'd do that. It would be bad for the brand identity to suddenly start using "Google" as a synonym for "wrong."


Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Technorati. Ugh. (3.00 / 5) (#6)
by Kasreyn on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 05:24:16 PM EST

I don't think I've seen that much concentrated pretentiousness in one place since... umm... since... help me out here, I think it may be a new record.

"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Since K5. (none / 1) (#16)
by Driusan on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 03:41:17 PM EST

This space for rent.
[ Parent ]
Forest, meet trees. :P -nt (none / 1) (#26)
by Kasreyn on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 04:40:03 AM EST

"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
seconded (none / 0) (#51)
by Delirium on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 04:13:15 AM EST

Tech-savvy user? Is that what we're calling people who got their first internet account in 2004 and now "blog" daily?

[ Parent ]
No. (3.00 / 2) (#7)
by forgotten on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 07:38:34 PM EST

Page and Brin didnt get rich by writing a whole lotta checks.


I know you've edited but... (3.00 / 2) (#8)
by alex fittyfives on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 07:51:44 PM EST

...I do find it strange that you've written an article that mentions all sorts of stuff that I didn't know yet someone missed the bit about Yahoo buying flickr.

Yeah (none / 0) (#10)
by Andrevan on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 10:04:27 PM EST

I don't know how I missed that.

[ Parent ]
kuro5hin nt (2.40 / 5) (#11)
by jleedev on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 11:07:23 PM EST

rusty would have to pay google (none / 0) (#14)
by army of phred on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 11:37:56 AM EST

and he probably wouldn't.

"Republicans are evil." lildebbie
"I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
"my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
[ Parent ]
they already do comment search (3.00 / 2) (#29)
by forgotten on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 07:24:53 AM EST



[ Parent ]

Multimedia and social networking (3.00 / 3) (#13)
by thsant on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 08:51:36 AM EST


Page has shown interest in multimedia production, organization and searching by common people. He is up to date with the multimedia academic/industry goals:

  • make authoring complex multimedia titles as easy as using a word processor or drawing program. and
  • make capturing, storing, finding, and using digital media an everyday occurrence in our computing environment.
Picasa, Blogger, Google Video Search and, possibly, your opinion about TiVo are some items of Google's multimedia agenda. See the ACM SIGMM Retreat Report on Future Directions in Multimedia Research for some useful insights.
-1 Not GNU/Hippies. (1.80 / 5) (#18)
by tweetsybefore on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 06:45:01 PM EST

Google is hostile to our four GNU/Freedoms.
  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (GNU/freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (GNU/freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (GNU/freedom 2).
  • The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (GNU/freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
Look at gmail/groups/maps etc... The Javascript code used is not free software. We must have free javascript for gmail or it is a great proprietary evil.

Free the GNU/World

Write GNU/Software.

I'm racist and I hate niggers.

Template #0 (none / 1) (#19)
by evilmeow on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 08:07:08 PM EST

{SUBJECT} is hostile to our four GNU/Freedoms.

    * The freedom to run the {$OBJECT}, for any purpose (GNU/freedom 0).
    * The freedom to study how the {$OBJECT}  works, and adapt it to your needs (GNU/freedom 1). Access to the {$OBJECT2} is a precondition for this.
    * The freedom to redistribute {$OBJECT2} copies so you can help your neighbor (GNU/freedom 2).
    * The freedom to improve the {$OBJECT} and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (GNU/freedom 3). Access to the {$OBJECT2} is a precondition for this.

Look at {$SPAM1} etc... The {$SPAM2} code used is not free software. We must have free {$SPAM3} for {$SPAM1} or it is a great proprietary evil.

Free the GNU/World

Write GNU/Software.

"[O]ne thing is certain: people are certifiably historically myopic"

[ Parent ]
More data, access to more data. (3.00 / 2) (#20)
by vhold on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 09:14:07 PM EST

I think the key to acquisitions is going to revolve around extending their hand's grasp of data.  

I think in general they want to process and represent data, but starting from scratch acquiring data in domains where there are decades of experience acquiring it doesn't make a lot of sense.

There are old companies that do things like read the print publications of the entire country as a kind of manual search engine for celebrity agents and politicians.

There are politically oriented companies that just gather as much voting data as they can and sell queries to produce mailing lists and foot campaign maps.

These are entire worlds of this kind of data that most people aren't even aware of because it exists nowhere online.  Bringing together these kinds of things out of left field as opposed to just crawling the web is a monopoly advantage.

Watch this flash-u-mentary about Google.. (2.00 / 2) (#21)
by The Amazing Idiot on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 09:35:56 PM EST


Kinda corny, but in line with the thought of this article.

Oh boy that is corny (none / 0) (#28)
by yaksox on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 05:14:34 AM EST

I hope there's never a company called googlezon.

Like you said the can't buy Moz but i bet they'd like to lure away some of firefox's key developers to create a G-browser.
Or even who and whatever it takes to create a (money) free operating system to replace windows -- something much more loose and less in yr face - an 'operating structure', that conveniently ties in the rest of their product range.
zombie n. 3. One who looks or behaves like an automaton.
[ Parent ]
Repeat after me... (none / 0) (#67)
by rusty on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 10:15:48 PM EST

"There is no money to be made in browsers." This is one of the lessons of the first internet bubble. Netscape: Dead. MSIE: Freebie. Firefox/Mozilla: Free, open source.

We all already have browsers. Google gets to send us all this stuff to use our browser for, and extract what money there is in that relationship without having to bear any of the cost of supplying us all with browsers.

For all the nifty technical stuff they do, Google the company is really simple. They squeeze money out of a massive pool of advertisers. They've been successful by not spending a lot of money on anything that won't increase their stock of advertising space or their pool of advertisers. You can bet that anything they do in the future will involve this same basic business plan.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Facebook (2.50 / 2) (#22)
by pHatidic on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 12:28:19 AM EST

I think Facebook would be the best company they could aquire. Even though they are clearly the best search engine, yahoo still has way more traffic. Thus if they want to grow over time they have to continually capture the younger market, because most of the average adults who started using yahoo have just kept using it. Yahoo's traffic still dwarfs Google's and always has even despite all the hype, so I think Google's best bet would be to go for kid friendly sites.

Distributed searching (none / 1) (#24)
by Armada on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 02:39:39 AM EST

I don't know of any companies that are looking at this technology, but distributed searching (as per the one built into Azureus, for example) has a lot of potential to reduce overhead. And much like Adwords, Google could actually pay users for their CPU and bandwidth.

Proprietary technology wouldn't necessarily work well with such a system, but Google Labs might be up for giving it a spin. Especially with the time vested in Google Web Accelerator. If you can queue it, why not index it as well?

So basically a legal zombie network? (none / 0) (#30)
by Russell Dovey on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 08:22:54 AM EST

Look, I'm not sure if giving Google a bona fide "Army Of The Night" is a good idea.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Auction (3.00 / 4) (#25)
by dogeye on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 03:10:57 AM EST

I think the online auction market is badly in need of a competitor. eBay has a virtual monopoly and only a behemoth like Google could provide meaningful competition. Google could design their own software or buy a competitor, it doesn't matter. It's their online muscle that will make the difference.

Not to mention (none / 1) (#65)
by rusty on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 10:01:55 PM EST

It would be really hard for Google not to absolutely stomp the user experience of eBay into the dirt. And the Google name alone would be enough of a draw to get over the "how do you attract enouhg sellers and buyers to make it work?" problem.

It's a good idea. It could be quite a cash cow for them.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Skype (2.50 / 2) (#27)
by jbond on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 05:08:01 AM EST

Not sure why but it would give them a great IM/VoIP client to match the other portals.

Google & Skype (none / 0) (#33)
by coolhunter on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 04:57:03 PM EST

Skype CEO Niklas Zennstrom does not seem to be very excited, but Google is certainly up to something (see: "Google prepares Skype-killer phone service").

[ Parent ]
lol internets. (1.50 / 2) (#31)
by Mylakovich on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 10:21:38 AM EST

It certainly is serious business.

Buy? Google Will Eat Itself... (1.50 / 4) (#32)
by Pnarp on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 01:45:05 PM EST

Google Will Eat Itself.

∼ Phillip Norbert Årp
Powered by the love of the voluptuous insect goddess, Strahazazhia Kalamazoo-Kintaki-Meeps, She of the six-legged delights.

✿✿✿ Pnårp’s docile & perfunctory page! ✿✿✿
   ❝It’s docile! It’s perfunctory! It’s phlogistically fantastical! But… is it one of those blog things?❞
    All wrights preserved. No purchase estuary. Lawn gnomes not included. You won’t be disconcerted. Deployed where prohibited by snore.

❤   Pnrp learned this week that the world was still here. Will it ever end?

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TinyURL (2.50 / 2) (#35)
by pdrap on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 09:29:14 PM EST

I think they might buy TinyURL.com or MakeAShorterLink.com. Those are really useful services, and Google could build tiny URL's into many places in their websites.

They could also use them in marketing and advertizing somehow I'm sure.

makeashorterlink (none / 0) (#53)
by cpyder on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 04:27:20 AM EST

I always laugh when I see this "makeashorterlink.com" urls, as they're usually longer than the original link. Tinyurl, urlcut and microurl are indeed useful, but maekashorterlink is kinda contradictory.

[ Parent ]
I think I speak for all K5ers when I say... (1.86 / 15) (#36)
by NaCh0 on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 10:00:38 PM EST

Dear Slashdotters:

Go eat a cock.

k, thx.

K5: Your daily dose of socialism.

Ummm... (3.00 / 3) (#37)
by sparque on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 10:18:28 PM EST

AskJeeves already owns MyWay...

Oops. (none / 0) (#41)
by Andrevan on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 10:48:30 PM EST

I apologize for the error.

[ Parent ]
Craigslist (3.00 / 2) (#38)
by ad1 on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 10:19:32 PM EST

Buy Craiglist and give free alternatives other than eBay

On the Other Site now. [nt] (1.75 / 4) (#39)
by BJH on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 10:24:02 PM EST

Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

Welcome slashdot (1.00 / 5) (#40)
by benna on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 10:47:41 PM EST

"It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists." -Ludwig Wittgenstein
Googles moves (none / 1) (#42)
by VitaminJunky on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 11:09:40 PM EST

I could see google going toward releasing a net appliance type device for checking email (gmail), browsing (while displaying adwords), directions (google maps), news (google news). Not really something I'd buy but for my mom it'd be perfect.

instant messengers?? (3.00 / 3) (#43)
by pojo vazquez on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 11:57:35 PM EST

What about google buying into an instant messaging company? Something like a Miranda, or Trillian? Or what about some company that is doing cutting edge location based IM like Meetro since they're making that big push for 'local'? -pojo

Jabber (none / 1) (#47)
by Shii on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 02:07:05 AM EST

Jabber is a fine network (okay, it kind of sucks, but not that bad) in need of a decent client. Google could demonstrate both its technical strength and its open commitment by writing a good Jabber client.

[ Parent ]
I think they've already got one (none / 1) (#52)
by cpyder on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 04:23:13 AM EST

I am wondering if Google hasn't already got an in-house instant messenger.

I recently interviewed with them for a job (which I declinded, pay wasn't all that), and the signatures of various employees had links with: IM: employeename, without any mentioning of a network a la AIM or Jabber.
So perhaps it was an in-house thing, or an existing network which wasn't clearly labeled, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was the next frontier for Google.

[ Parent ]

Hello (none / 0) (#71)
by jacoplane on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 12:57:58 PM EST

Google already has an IM client: Hello. It's a IM client focused on sharing images.

[ Parent ]
Audioscrobbler :: RIAA fodder? (1.50 / 2) (#44)
by The Devil on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 12:52:33 AM EST

Hey is it just me but what if the RIAA got a hold of the Audioscrobbler servers??????? ?

I hope they systemically designed their software to:
A) Protect Identity
B) Obfuscate track info

Why? (none / 0) (#54)
by muggy on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 04:38:13 AM EST

Why? They are doing nothing wrong - they provide a perfectly legitimate service under their UK broadcast license.

[ Parent ]
Not at all. (none / 0) (#59)
by heresiarch on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 09:35:26 AM EST

AS is pretty clear about this. From their FAQ:
But what if the RIAA get the database and know what MP3s I've got?
See the above question about privacy. Unlike other services, Audioscrobbler does not know the source of any of your music. The Audioscrobbler database cannot tell if you played songs from an original CD or from an MP3 file.
So yeah, I think there's nothing to worry about.

[ Parent ]
fr1st ps0t (1.12 / 8) (#45)
by I HATE TROLLS on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 01:06:22 AM EST

del.icio.us is worthless (2.50 / 2) (#46)
by Shii on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 02:04:12 AM EST

Google won't buy del.icio.us. It would disturb the site users, and they don't have a patent on public bookmarking. Google can make its own damn bookmarks service.

Paedophiles get off K5 please. (1.00 / 3) (#48)
by I HATE TROLLS on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 02:16:29 AM EST

We have an image to maintain here now that snowlion is gone.

[ Parent ]
He is? (none / 1) (#50)
by GreyGhost on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 03:58:40 AM EST

Did he get arrested? Fuck that guy was a creepy motherfucker.

[ Parent ]
Skype, anybody ? (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by max73 on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 02:19:00 AM EST

Skype (and LinkedIn, perhaps) seem to make much more senso to me than most of the companies you list.

Also, they won't buy MyWay.com because MayWay.com is now part of Ask Jeeves / InterActive Corporation.

Skype? Only if they get there before Yahoo (none / 1) (#55)
by Rys on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 06:33:44 AM EST

Some investor BBs are tingling with rumours that Yahoo are going to pickup Skype, apparently.

LungExpress | CodeFactory
Wikipedia for Yahoo! (none / 1) (#56)
by guillaumeb on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 07:24:22 AM EST

Yahoo already made a deal with Wikipedia. http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000099.html
Guillaume www.guillaumeb.com
enLighter for sure (none / 1) (#57)
by electricthought on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 08:20:24 AM EST

This company has a very unique "after search" system that will be picked up.

webIm/voip? (none / 1) (#58)
by Dream on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 09:04:14 AM EST

I remember seeing a voip webapp a couple of years ago would this kind of thing make a bit more sense to google's business scheme than actually buying client software like skype (also if they do pull this off lets hope it involves the speex codec (and wouldn't this be possible with the mozilla/xul (i believe) as an extension to firefox (considering how much they put into it and how its designed to have a core that can be ported across platforms and the rest scripted around that core (the gecko engine) altough building another auction site would be truly brilliant for google altough wouldn't it start to become a monopoly?
What about Yahoo? (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by howzat on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 12:16:26 PM EST

Does anyone know of a similar list of Yahoo's acquisitions, preferably with $ amounts? It would be interesting to compare their trajectory of acquisitions with that of Google's.

Get into radio (3.00 / 2) (#61)
by khaladan on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 12:47:21 PM EST

Buy Clear Channel. De-evil it.

Don't forget Sprinks (3.00 / 2) (#62)
by webconnoisseur on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 02:37:22 PM EST

You forgot Sprinks on your acquisition list. Sprinks, the contextual advertising arm of About.com, was purchased on October 24th. It extended Google's advertising base by 150,000 advertisers and gave Google an exclusive deal to serve up ads on About.com (a top-ten Web property).

I like your list of possible targets, but I think Google's next purchases may surprise again. I expect Google to start purchasing Web applications or software - for example, imagine Web-equivalents of Excel or Photoshop. More and more people recognize the convenience of online email (hence Gmail) and the speed of Google maps shows that software may be ready to go online. Imagine being able to use photoshop or Excel-like software from any computer that has access to the Web.

year (none / 0) (#63)
by webconnoisseur on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 02:40:30 PM EST

Noticed I left out the year of the Sprinks purchase: 2003.

[ Parent ]
Important reason for Google to buy good companies (none / 0) (#64)
by nutate on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 04:04:58 PM EST

is to change their silly names so that people will take them seriously. Not to say google wasn't a silly name when in first started. The name technorati has put me off so much I've never even visited their home page despite many times thinking about it. It's like calling your site elitewebsite, or worse 31337w3bs173... oh... wait.

Why Propel? Why not SlipStream? (none / 1) (#68)
by Joseph Fung on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 01:05:50 PM EST

I find it interesting that the author selected Propel over SlipStream (www.slipstream.com), an arguably better purchase who has superior technology (confirmed by independent testing solutions provider VeriTest).

This would do well to augment Google's current technology, as well as being perhaps a little more in line with Google's culture: Slipstream was founded by a pair of electrical & computer engineering professors at the University of Waterloo - a university from which Google hires many grads.

What ever happened to image search? (none / 0) (#69)
by atrerra on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 01:11:50 PM EST

Since image search seems to be going nowhere (as far as being properly monetized), how about Yotophoto image search?

Or maybe it will be Yahoo who's interested (yahotophoto?) as it nicely compliments their Creative Commons search.

Google will go for MOBILE acquisitions (none / 0) (#70)
by iwaxx on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 11:54:44 AM EST

motionbridge is a provider they should / could seriously consider !

They should buy a.. (1.00 / 6) (#72)
by koehlerminator on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 05:20:48 PM EST

..voice over ip company and provide a service like "Google Voice Search". For example, when your wife is cheating (or in case you think she will act like this) then you can search for calls made by your female (in case you are using only vonage or nikotel or something similar at your home) .. okok .. just kidding..
sipsurf.de - the german internet telephony garage + many voice over ip tool here + always the newest news of all voip news from my personal point of view + voip device firmware files http://www.sipsurf.de
a lot of business... (none / 0) (#73)
by Neokit on Fri Jul 01, 2005 at 08:51:01 PM EST

Google is for sure looking in a lot of web business...

First, webhosting. There's a lot of companies out there, but the biggest is doing a lot of money even if they start later. See the examples of domain name registrar who start doing webhosting.

Second, domain names...

Third, pay systems... like paypal or 2co.

fourth, auctions...

The best of it, they all can be joint together so they each bring customers to the others...

And maybe he's looking outside the web... say walmart ? :)


Hebergement Internet en francais.
Webhosting in french!

My New Blog - From the Author (none / 0) (#74)
by Andrevan on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 10:04:42 PM EST

Inspired by the success of this article, I have created a new blog based on it.

a (none / 0) (#75)
by kingshao66 on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 02:11:43 AM EST


d (none / 0) (#76)
by kingshao66 on Sun Aug 07, 2005 at 09:27:22 AM EST


spam? (none / 0) (#78)
by Servus on Sun Sep 04, 2005 at 04:54:04 AM EST

Is this spam?. Lets flood the phonelines using skype!

hmm (none / 0) (#80)
by RickJamez on Thu Apr 27, 2006 at 11:11:09 PM EST

I dont get it, why did google acquire so many mapping/traffic related company? Didn't Keyhole (now Google Earth) do all of it? and p.s. now del.ici.ous is a part of Yahoo! Alota acquisitions.
free cell phone wallpapers
Who Will Google Buy Next? | 78 comments (70 topical, 8 editorial, 0 hidden)
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