June 7, 2011, 2:55 PM

Google buys a social media monitoring firm

PostRank’s technology enables online businesses to monitor and analyze online conversations.

Lead Photo

Google Inc. has bought PostRank, a 4-year-old firm that helps online businesses monitor and analyze blog comments, Twitter messages and other forms of communication via social media. Neither Google nor PostRank would disclose the purchase price.

“We’re always looking for new ways to measure and analyze data, and as social analytics become increasingly important for online businesses, we’re excited to work with the PostRank team to make this data more actionable and accountable,” a Google spokeswoman says. “They have developed an innovative approach to measuring web engagement, and we think they can help us improve our products for our users and advertisers.” Google offered no further details about how it would use PostRank to bolster its search capabilities or commerce-related services.

PostRank offers several tools for companies that want to enhance what PostRank calls social engagement. PostRank says it analytics technology, for instance, helps client companies monitor online conversations.

“We are extremely excited to join Google,” writes Ilya Grigorik, PostRank’s chief technology officer, in a blog. “We believe there is simply no better company on the web today that both understands the value of the engagement data we have been focusing on, and has the platform and reach to bring its benefits to the untold millions of daily, active Internet users.”

The acquisition comes as Google works to tie consumers’ preference for social networking behavior with search results.  Google recently launched the +1 recommendation tool, allowing web users to indicate they like a particular Google search result, similar to the way Facebook members use that social network’s Like button. +1 recommendations are reflected in the search results that other consumers see and are one of the signals used to calculate organic search results on Google.

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