Google buys post rank

By Paul Morris
Google has just purchased post rank (a play on Google’s page rank); a company whose software attributes value to social gestures e.g. retweets, bookmarks, blog comments, facebook shares, diggs,  etc.

Now the post rank purchase is really interesting as it develops further social engagement insight in addition to other Google initiatives such as its own social ranking factors e.g. Google +1, social media tracking capabilities e.g.  Google multi channel funnels and shows it wants to improve its search engine result pages (SERPS) by understanding as many social ranking factors as possible i.e. in addition to its current top 10 social ranking factors.

The post rank purchase is interesting for 4 key reasons:

1/ It supports the initiatives highlighted above but more importantly supports the internal Google leaked memo from April 2011 that showed Google’s key  objective of incentivising its employees to improve the company’s social efforts – and that includes external purchases.

2/ Google was once the star of silicon valley but is now facing brain drain to other bright young social things such as Facebook, Twitter and Zynga and this could help stem the tide.

3/ I bet Google will not develop Post Rank but instead asset/ brain strip the company and employ the technology and learning in Google analytics (whether it be free or in a PRO version)

4/ I have already spoken of the impact this will have on social SEO but could it also impact its successor – the semantic web (as detailed in my seo predictions post)?

Sir Tim Berners Lee wanted computer algorithms to ‘become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers.’ At present this analysis still relies heavily on humans however by truly understanding the web and the social interactions/ relationships it elicits could we be moving a step closer to the semantic web?