January 19, 2010, 12:00 AM

Google invests in merchant-linking service

The venture capital arm of Google Inc. has invested in Viglink Inc., a company developing a service designed to help web publishers such as bloggers earn more money from merchant links.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

The venture capital arm of Google Inc. has invested in a company developing a service designed to help web publishers such as bloggers earn more money from merchant links.

VigLink Inc. has attracted $800,000 in seed investment from Google Ventures, First Round Capital and individuals including Reid Hoffman, founder of business networking site LinkedIn.

VigLink’s service tracks consumers who click on a link from a blog to a retailer and records when they make a purchase. For instance, a camping blog might have links to a tent-supply store. The technology tracks whether the reader follows a link from the blog to buy a tent. The web publisher takes a cut of the sales, as does VigLink. The San Francisco-based firm has yet to set its commission rates, says Oliver Roup, company co-founder and CEO.

VigLink says it is testing its service with a small number of customers and expects to roll it out within a couple of months.

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