Google Acquisitions Target Social Apps, Search for Google Me

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Google Acquisitions Target Social Apps, Search for Google Me

by Clint Boulton

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A Decade-Long Buyout Track Record

Google has purchased more than 75 companies since snapping up Deja in February 2001.

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Defining the Key provides a key that delineates buys between acquisition size, whether it was simply an investment, and whether a buy was made for technology, talent or the market.

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Ramping Up in 2009

After Google acquired TNC in September 2008, the company embarked on nearly a year of belt-tightening. Google opened up the coffers again in August 2009 by agreeing to buy video codec provider On2 Technologies. A bid for ReCaptcha followed in September. ReCaptcha was an open-source CAPTCHA service the company used to boost security and to support its efforts to digitize books and newspapers.

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November Is Busy

After going O for October, Google bid for three companies: mobile display ad provider AdMob, but the company couldn't close the deal until May thanks to FTC scrutiny. The others were VOIP platform provider Gizmo5 and ad provider Teracent.

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Social Search, Collaboration

Google closed out 2009 by buying AppJet for the real-time collaboration application EtherPad, which it subsequently released to open source. Google renewed its purchase push in 2010 by buying social search engine Aardvark, which has been shunted to Google Labs.

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February, March Moves

Google grabbed mobile e-mail app maker ReMail, Picnik for cloud-based photo editing for Picasa and DocVerse for Google Apps.

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Art, Video Technology Acquisitions

Google picked up processor maker Agnilux, possibly to boost Chrome OS though the company was quiet about its plans. Google also moved to boost its Google Goggles visual search app by acquiring Plink to cover art recognition. The company also grabbed video platform provider Episodic to help YouTube.

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May Proves Mercurial

Google in April and May bought some interesting companies. Lab Pixies provides gaming widgets, possibly for Google's Social Me network. Bump Technologies offers a tablet UI for Android or Chrome OS machines. Global IP Solutions brings real-time voice and video processing. Simplify Media provides cloud music.

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No Google Swoon in June

Google landed on Invite Media in June to boost its DoubleClick display ads and then moved on ITA Software in July for travel flight information. However, that deal is under DOJ scrutiny, so it is not yet complete. Next was Metaweb for semantic search. A $100 million investment in Zing is geared to forge Google Games.

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Home Stretch

The company grabbed Web toolkit provider Instantiations, then picked up social widget giant Slide before grabbing Jambool for virtual currency in August. provides fashion product search.

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Angstro's infographic was published before Google bought Angstro, a two-man startup with social network expertise, and SocialDeck.

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Social Deck

SocialDeck makes social games, adding another weapon for Google.

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