11 Other Localish Companies Google Might Buy

1

The Knot

The wedding-oriented company has had to scale back its expansion into other lifestyle categories in recent years, but has built out a solid network of retail relationships in a lucrative, super-local e-commerce category.

 

2

Village Voice Media

Struggling newspaper company has access to tons of local listings and would provide Google with an instant sales force on the ground.

 

3

Time Out

Would complement Zagat and Frommers, though company only publishes in a handful of U.S. markets.

 

4

U.S. News

Not local per say, but the former newsweekly has refashioned itself into a go-to list-ranking publication for high schoolers and their parents prepping for college. Could provide Google with a foothold in the service journalism space—would complement search nicely.

 

5

WebMD

Site has long dominated a sleepy but crucial content category. Yet financially WebMD could definitely use a lifeline, and could help Google enter into pharma ad category in a bigger way.

 

6

OpenTable, Spafinder

Yelp spurned Google a few years ago. So the search giant could fill out a few more local retail/review niches by acquiring specialist sites like Spafinder and bake them into its local services.

 

7

LivingSocial

Google Offers hasn’t really taken off and Groupon’s troubles has LivingSocial staving off an IPO. LivingSocial’s pretty cozy with Amazon (having received millions in funding from the ecommerce giant and with LivingSocial initially powering AmazonLocal deals). With Amazon looming as the sleeping giant in the local deals game, Google would probably love to kneecap Bezos and company.

8

Seamless

The firm owns lots of local food delivery and takeout data, which could pair nicely with Zagat’s dining data.

 

9

The New York Times

Google has been rumored as a Times savior for years. While some of that can be attributed to wishful thinking among journalists, the Gray Lady’s rich collection of content could bolster Google’s travel, restaurant, movie and book reviews relevancy in search.

 

10

Craigslist

Craig Newmark seems to have eased off the throttle development-wise, but CEO Jim Buckmaster appears intent on keeping the site relevant, as evidenced by its recent lawsuit against a site it claims copies apartment listings from Craigslist. Users have always ignored Craigslist’s Geocities-era site design in favor of its listings, which could look a lot better when wrapped in Google+ Local.