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When investing in or buying a company, taking a peek under the hood is all but required. Anything else, of course, is sort of like going to Vegas and betting a huge chunk of your retirement on black.
Generally, due diligence includes looking at a company's financials. From the top line to the bottom line, prospective investors and acquirers need to know how healthy a company is and where it appears to be headed. But when investing in or acquiring an online business, should investors and acquirers be paying more attention to the SEO profiles of the properties they're considering?
The eBay brand is synonymous with online auctions, but over the years, eBay's business has expanded well beyond those auctions.
The company's crown jewel -- PayPal -- was purchased in 2002 for $1.5bn, and the online payment provider now accounts for more than a third of eBay's revenue. eBay's portfolio also includes comparison shopping site Shopping.com, financing service BillMeLater and rental classifieds site Rent.com.
Yesterday's surprise announcement that AOL is buying The Huffington Post for $315m sent shockwaves through the blogosphere.
The deal is not only one of the biggest in the consumer internet space in the past several years, it's one of the biggest online publishing acquisitions ever involving a 'blog'.
Google wants to do business with local businesses. And for good reason: there are a lot of them out there for, and they present a largely untapped opportunity for the search giant.
Rumors are swirling that Google's push to win over local businesses will involve a multi-billion dollar acquisition of group buying leader Groupon. According to one report, Google has put a whopping $5.3bn on the table for Groupon to mull over. If such reports are accurate, it's hard to imagine that we won't soon be hearing an official acquisition announcement in the very near future.
Newspapers? Dying? Television? Might as well die too. New media? That's where future empires will be built.
At least that's what some have been claiming since blogging and 'new media' became a mainstream phenomenon. And to be sure, new media's future does look bright. But is it as bright as many had predicted? Perhaps not.
At one point in the no-so-distant past, Digg was one of the hottest startups on the internet. The Web 2.0 boom was in full swing, and Digg and its founder Kevin Rose were the poster children for the next generation of companies that would ride the wave to fame and fortune.
Digg, of course, rose to popularity by providing a platform that democratized the news. Why rely on editors to determine what's important and what's not?Let the wisdom of the crowd works its magic. It was a simple idea, but a powerful one.
In the tech industry, acquisitions are a fact of life. Big companies look to acquisitions for innovation and talent, and many entrepreneurs hope that their hard work will one day result in their creations being acquired.
When it comes to who is doing the acquiring in 2010, Google is at the head of the pack. In search of technologies and services that compliment its initiatives, and perhaps even the next big thing, the search giant has snapped up 23 companies this year according to CB Insights.
Thanks to the rise of massive social networks, namely Facebook, and a multi-billion dollar virtual currency market, social gaming has become one of the hottest spaces on the consumer internet.
But there's another reason social gaming is so hot: it is putting the 'casual' back into the concept of 'casual gaming'. Through social games like Farmville and Mafia Wars, millions upon millions of non-gamers have become gamers. In the process, social games are potentially reshaping the gaming industry more broadly.
Vertical search is already a big focus in the search market, and Google has its sights set on the skies. And we're not talking about the infamous Google party plane.
Yesterday, Google announced that it is buying flight information software company ITA Software for $700m in cash. ITA Software's technology is widely used by airlines and online travel destinations, and "effortlessly searches – at a billion combinations per query – fares, schedules, and availability." That's why Google was willing to pay big bucks for ITA's technology, which it hopes will enable it to help passengers, airlines and online travel agencies find flights and fares more efficiently.
It's official: after more than a year of rumors, AOL has finally managed to find a buyer for Bebo, the social networking website it purchased in 2008 for a whopping $850m.
The buyer: financial firm Criterion Capital Partners. The price: word on the street is that it didn't exceed $10m, and may have been as low as $2.5m.
I caught up with Digital Window CEO Kevin Brown to discuss the deal in more detail.
Google's bread and butter is search advertising but it isn't neglecting display advertising. It made that clear when it purchased DoubleClick for $3.1bn in 2008.