The technical secret behind Google’s purchase of Pyra?
Thursday, February 20th, 2003
Google likely was not after either blogging brainpower and technology, since it didn’t employ investment-banking SOP and talk to other blogtech players before making the purchase.
Yet Google couldn’t have been after Blogger’s content. As Dave Winer puts it, “Pyra claims to have over 1 million Blogger users, with 200,000 active users. But Google didn’t buy their content, because Pyra doesn’t own it, the users do. They didn’t buy access to the content because they already had it.”
In fact, Google does not “have it.” Google doesn’t really index Blogger-produced- or-hosted content, at least, very effectively. Want proof? Search Google for Blogger + Google… and you get a bunch of Movable Type sites. Of the leading Blogging tech providers, Blogger was the only one that doesn’t handle Google particularly well.
So maybe the explanation for this buyout is mundanely technical: perhaps Google does want to improve Noogle by including more blogs. But Google knows that Pyra, the biggest blog host, doesn’t have the resources (or desire?) to hack the minute-by-minutes swarms of freshbots that feed Noogle. Maybe Google wished Blogger put headlines into the title tag so posts would get their fair PR and be Google-user friendly. (Look at Evhead’s titleless posts in Google and you’ll realize just how annoying Blogger entries are when seen through Google’s eyes.)
Was trading a few Google shares for Blogger the fastest way to improve Noogle? (Or to block Microsoft from acquiring Pyra and quietly reducing Blogger’s Google-friendliness?)