Google is beefing up its social networking data tracking with the acquisition of PostRank, a business dedicated to following the path of user-generated content for analysis.
The Canadian start-up has a few specialties - namely the fact that it collects and monitors social media data in real-time across the Web. Some of that content includes comments on stories, bookmarks, and Tweets.
Additionally, PostRank owns its own analytics tool for publishers (which might have piqued Google's interest if it's looking to improve its own analytics service) and a "connect" focus that provides some of this data to brands and PR agencies. Such a feature could lead to greater competition with Facebook Connect.
PostRank posted the following statement to its official blog on Friday:
We know that making sense of social engagement data is crucial for online businesses, which is why we’ve worked hard to monitor where and when content generates meaningful interactions across the web. Indeed, conversations online are an important signal for advertisers, publishers, developers and consumers — but today’s tools only skim the surface of what we think is possible.
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.
Google responded to Tech Crunch by saying that "we think they can help us improve our products for our users and advertisers."
No word on whether or not PostRank's employees will stay put at their headquarters in Ontario or move down to Mountain View, Calif.
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