Google acquired Zipdash
Palo Alto based start up Zipdash would have been acquired recently by Google according to the 2004 annual report of the search engine. Zipdash’s focus is on providing real time traffic analysis to cell phone users with global positioning satellite (GPS). As hitting traffic at rush hours has become a real problem for commuters and this is a fast growing market ambitious entrepreneurs see it as an opportunity.Zipdash claims to provide accurate real-time traffic info by gathering data collected on cellular phone users and prvodes advice on selecting alternative routes and the fastest itinerary.
They way they make it happens is by is collecting anonymous information from cell phone users for further analysis.
In the past few weeks, Google uncovered quite a few nice tools now available online such as the photo satellite service available at http://maps.google.com or the ride finder http://labs.google.com/ridefinder . Obviously the search engine wants not only to organize the information on the web but also it seems that Google is willing to integrate everyday life information. Traffic analysis services and direction helps and maps are already widely available online and Yahoo is already on the same market segment. Actually Yahoo is working a bit on everything at this time in order to compete with the other two major search engines MSN and Google.
In a previous post we have mentioned that MSN, Yahoo and Google are moving towards social networking, creating communities and gathering user information. It appears that a good way to reach the target audience (everyone?) is to go local, as close as possible to the user, and by any means technologically accessible, when not yet accessible search engines acquire from others, for example Google acquired Keyhole, Inc. to develop its satellite maps tool. Don’t get it wrong, it is a major attempt to gather as much user info as possible and by any means. The search engine marketing advertising market forecasts to grow very well until 2009 according to Nielsen/Rating studies and the more search engines know their users the better they can serve them with high profile targeted messages, Google revenue in 2004 was 98% due to pay per click with adwords.