Google’s 2010 acquisitions tell us its all about Mobile and Social

Google’s 2010 acquisitions tell us its all about Mobile and Social

13th December 2010

You can tell a lot about what a person is like by what he or she buys. That is one of the things Blippy for example believes. That goes for persons, but that also goes for companies.

In the beginning of this year Google announced that it would getting back onto the buyers market. They were aiming to buy one company every month. Being it now December that would mean Google would by now have acquired 12 companies. Well, Google may have been underestimating their own spending pattern. Up until this day Google has made 26, and that doesn’t include the investments they made.

A list of all the acquisitions in 2010 you can find below, but as said, You can tell a lot about what a person is like by what he or she buys, so what does this tell about Google? Let’s take a look

The focus is Social and Mobile

A simple look at the acquisitions shows where Google’s focus lies: on social and mobile. Of the 26 acquisitions we’ve looked at five are on the mobile front and five on the social. But even those from other areas are in some cases related to the both of these. LabPixies for example is all about Gadgets, chances are these will be used within Android. And Aardvark for example is in our list under ‘search’ but is a social search engine, which could be put in the social list just as easy. And is semantic search not also a social element?


The year of the mobile has been named every year since 2007 but it really is clear: mobile is here to stay. And Google knows it.

Next to the already named LabPixies Google invested in PlinkArt, a Visual Search Engine Mobile start-up from the UK to support their Goggles applications. Where Simplify Media has to support the Music syncing element on Android, Touch Typing and Bump Technologies have much more to do with HOW Android works.

What strikes is that the acquisitions are all focused on improving the way Android works. There is no ‘money maker’ there, nothing they can sell or where they can make money from.


That is a bit different on the social area. Partly that is because it is more focused on Google’s core business: search. Social Gaming buys like and SocialDeck will more likely make Google some money (which can be done through Social Payment service Jambool 😉 ).

Do the social acquisitions tell us anything about Google + (or Google Me for that matter)? Well, not directly but off course we can speculate.

Based on the list of acquisitions we might be able to conclude that Google is not building a second Facebook. The social acquisitions are mainly focused on gaming and search itself. Only Angstro was a company with more of that focus. But that acquisition was focused on the company owner: Internet researcher Rohit Khare. Not surprisingly he is playing a large role in Google’s social efforts.

What about search?

So what happened to Google’s core business: search?

It does seem to be more and more evident that Google is combining their social efforts with their search efforts. Aardvark is the best example of that but also the buy of Metaweb in July shows that direction. Semantic Search has a lot to do with social after all.

What else?

Google has also acquired companies which will ad on to the experiences on YouTube, Maps and in Docs. All the acquisitions are again tools to make things better.

What can we conclude of this?

To be honest, nothing really new came forward from taking a look at what Google bought. We know that the focus was on Mobile and Social. With the semantic element also the ‘personal’ part comes in. There is however one thing which is underrepresented in the acquisitions is Local. And that would have easily be covered if Groupon would have said “yes” to the offer…

All of Google’s 2010 acquisitions

March 1, 2010 Picnik $5,000,000
March 5, 2010 DocVerse $25,000,000
April 2, 2010 Episodic
April 12, 2010 PlinkArt
April 20, 2010 Agnilux
April 27, 2010 LabPixies
April 30, 2010 Bump Technologies $30,000,000
May 18, 2010 Global IP Solutions $68,000,000
May 20, 2010 Simplify Media
May 21, 2010
June 3, 2010 Invite Media $81,000,000
July 1, 2010 ITA Software $700,000,000
July 16, 2010 Metaweb
August 4, 2010 Instantiations
August 5, 2010 $182,000,000
August 10, 2010 Jambool $70,000,000
August 15, 2010 $100,000,000
August 30, 2010 Angstro
August 30, 2010 SocialDeck, Inc.
September 13, 2010 Quiksee $10,000,000
September 28, 2010 Plannr
October 1, 2010 BlindType
December 3, 2010 Phonetic Arts
December 3, 2010 Widevine Tecnologies
Written By
Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.