Google has acquired PostRank, a company whose hosted software measures user engagement with topics, brands, authors and content across social media sites.
PostRank's analytics data is used by publishers and advertisers to determine, respectively, the popularity of content and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
"We're proud of what we've accomplished, and we now look forward to working with Google's team to build more useful tools for measuring engagement online, and we'll be sure to share details on our progress in the coming months," reads a message posted on PostRank's home page.
Analytics tools are crucial for online advertisers and web publishers because they capture and slice and dice a constant stream of usage data that provides insight about how their content and ads are performing in a way that offline media can't.
For a company like Google, which generates most of its revenue from advertising, offering analytics tools to its customers is essential to its business. With the skyrocketing popularity of social media, a lot of relevant "conversations" about brands and content happen in sites like Twitter and Facebook, and in discussion forums and blog comment sections.
"We’re always looking for new ways to measure and analyse 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. 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 said.
PostRank products are designed to monitor and aggregate social media data relevant to publishers and advertisers. It's very likely that the PostRank technology will be used to extend the functionality of Google Analytics.
The terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Founded in 2007 as AideRSS, PostRank is based in Canada, but the staff will move to Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California.