Google has been quite busy in the acquisition game as of late. With hopes of boosting its profile in the burgeoning display advertising field, it announced the acquisition of AdMeld early this month. And in what appears to be a move to obtain relevance in the area of social analytics, the company also decided to snatch up Canadian startup PostRank.
According to the creators themselves, PostRank is currently the largest aggregator of social media engagement
metrics on the market. Before the acquisition, the web-based software platform allowed users to view data on popular conversations, trending topics and their own comments published on the web in real-time. The app pulled data from a variety of social networks, including both Facebook and Twitter. PostRank, which got its official start in 2007, stated in a blog post that it will soon be moving from its office in Waterloo, Ontario to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Aside from the information included in the PostRank blog post, there isn’t much else known in regards to the specific details of the acquisition. Google isn’t saying much other than the usual, stating its admiration for PostRank’s approach to web analytics, how both sides are looking forward to working together, etc. However, the fact that the Canadian team is relocating to Mountain View is an indication that Google isn’t necessarily interested in their product, but their expertise, which adds a whole new dimension of intrigue to this acquisition.
One of the most challenging aspects of social marketing is being able to accurately measure engagement and performance. Facebook has its own analytics platform in Facebook Insights. Twitter has a built-in measuring tool it makes available to advertising partners. There are also a number of third-party applications of both the free and paid variety. Even with all these options available, marketers often find themselves putting together a measuring system from different bits and pieces simply because they can’t rely on a single solution. With its expertise already shining through in Google Analytics, the acquisition of PostRank may enable Google to fill more of the void in today’s online marketing
Nothing is for certain, but the PostRank acquisition could have some interesting implications in terms of search and social. Google has said that it wants the online discovery process to be a more social experience, and a few of its recent actions hint that things may be moving forward faster than some would have thought. One of the most obvious examples is the +1 button. Similar to the Facebook Like, the button allows users to endorse content online, both in the search results and on the web. With Google making serious attempts to increase its presence in the social space, it wouldn’t be surprising to see PostRank’s expertise used to track the impact of +1 activity and other interactions associated with the company’s social efforts.