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Google Acquires and Riya

Written by Terry Van Horne   
Sunday, 22 August 2010 18:22

Google Buys Product Search Engine to Power Commerce Search Platform? Acquision Announcement
Enlarge Announcement

In an announcement on the homepage the product search engine disclosed they have been acquired by Google. This is not the first time the two have negotiated, however, Munjal Shah was then the CEO of Riva. Google intended to buy Riya in 2005 for facial and text recognition that enabled intelligent sorting of untagged photos. In 2006 Riya was unable to monetize a  planned launch of a visual search engine with support for object recognition. and in a post on Typepad Munjal Shah disclosed a decision to focus on more lucrative search,

Google decided to acquire technology from Neven Vision for visual mobile search,  face recognition and photo analysis capabilities. Neven Vision's technology was used by Google to add face recognition to Picasa, visual search to Android and  new features to Google Image Search.

Why Would Google Acquire Like,com errrm Riya?

Riya holds many patents on visual recognition and had a team of talented engineers that could improve many of Google's optical search capabilities. In November of 2009 I wrote a post for entitled Google Commerce Search or Just Gbase Monetized! and the $100 million purchase is another indication that Google wants to perhaps expand the Commerce Search Platform like Yahoo! did with their Yahoo! stores.  

The Yahoo! stores are or are on the chopping block due to the combination of Yahoo! and Microsoft. Google has talked about Pay For Performance in the past so an affiliate payment for sales they send to vendors will not be something they haven't considered.'s affiliate business was brisk in 2008. Google could still leverage their current advertising against the higher CPC rates that shopping sites can pull in.

Got to Love a Social Shopping and Sharing Platform Called "Like"!

Could Google be looking at the Social Sites Recently developed or purchased by A social shopping site called "like" would make a nice addition to any Social Platform or Facebook Killer that Google is looking to develop. I believe Google sees platforms that anyone can use as it's Social strategy. IMO, we'll never see an actual site it will be more like an API strategy then actually owning a site. Learnt thier lesson on that with YouTube. launched shopping personalization engine; acquired a Social Shopping Network Weardrobe and rolled out a styling tool called Couturious recently launched a fashion Q&A site, What To Wear which takes on a model similar to Q&A site Quora

Conclusions on the Purchase by Google

Whether it was to bolster image search; Commerce Search; to develop a PFA platform or for use on the Android smart phone platform the intellectual property; the physical Social Sites or whatever this was as much to cockblock Google from technology that could have definitely helped Facebook improve it's search and tagging of images and it's Questions app.

About the author; Terry is an old school SEO geek that works out of International Website Builders and the founder of - You can also hook up with him on Twitter.


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