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Going Once, Going Twice, Sold For $100 Million!

written by John Chow on May 23, 2007


Google continues on their goal of taking over the world by buying up anything that has a remote chance of getting big. The latest purchase added to the growing list of Google acquisitions is FeedBurner. These are the guys that handle my RSS feed and show that fancy counter that say I have over 5,000 RSS readers. They also run the FeedBurner Ad Network (FAN) that makes me a bit of cash.

Feedburner is in the closing stages of being acquired by Google for around $100 million. The deal is all cash and mostly upfront, according to our source, although the founders will be locked in for a couple of years.

FeedBurner was founded in 2003 and funded with $10 million of capital in two rounds. Google will be paying $100 million cash for the company. $10 million into $100 million in four years? That’s a pretty good return on investment! However, I am surprised that FeedBurner is doing an all cash deal. The taxes on that kind of gain would allow you to live off the interest for the rest of your life.

Source: TechCrunch

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Ed Lau May 23, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Craziness! Is there anything on the internet that won’t be part of Google?

Wesley Novack May 23, 2007 at 5:15 pm

Resistance is futile!!! :twisted:

Steve's Tech Blog May 23, 2007 at 6:17 pm

Then, I must be their next acquisition.

By buying me, they will be able to import the .MIS(metadata) into a little something called Youtube.

Oh well! I just need to wait a few days/hours for them to raise the money and contact me. :mrgreen:

dot info domain May 24, 2007 at 6:11 am

hmmm, good luck with that

Jack May 23, 2007 at 9:40 pm

am… john chow dot com :shock:

website copywriter May 24, 2007 at 12:19 am

I wonder what Google’s gonna buy next time…

dot info domain May 24, 2007 at 6:10 am


Nomar May 30, 2007 at 2:47 am

Im sure there are companies that want to compete with them and never going to sell it to them

Tyler Ingram May 23, 2007 at 5:17 pm

That is crazy. Now will the change feedburner? Will the Google Brand it? Will they leave it as is? Will they have an option to put AdSense ads into our RSS Feeds via Feedburner?

Be interesting to see!

John Chow May 23, 2007 at 6:10 pm

I think it’s safe to assume that you will see Google AdSense ads in a Feedburner RSS real soon.

Make Money With Funds May 23, 2007 at 6:47 pm

Will it makes us to earn more money from our feeds?

Kiltak May 23, 2007 at 7:48 pm

Probably.. I’m pretty sure google will be able to plug in more advertisers in the FAN network then feedburner were able to..

dot info domain May 24, 2007 at 6:12 am

i’d think so, anyone can easily implement adsense into their rss now

Wahlau.NET May 24, 2007 at 7:58 pm

I think google have a better exposure to get more advertiser

Aaron Cook May 23, 2007 at 11:09 pm

Yes, I agree 100%. Text-Link-Ads already allows you to monetize your RSS feeds via their Feedvertising program, so I think it’s safe to say that Google plans to dominate this area as well.

Having AdSense in a feed will certainly be welcome news, especially for those whose readers mostly read via feed. TechCrunch, for example, has over 411,000 feed subscribers and only a small portion of them visit the actual site regularly. So to be able to monetize a feed like that will be a goldmine.

To note, TLA’s Feedvertising technology only supports WordPress (not Blogger) and I bet you know why! :wink:

Aaron Cook May 24, 2007 at 12:09 am

I was just reading through the FeedBurner blog and their April 26th (2005) post states, “Google has launched a trial program enabling AdSense in RSS, and FeedBurner has implemented support for this capability. Google is currently testing this program with just a few publishers, but as the program becomes more widely available, and your Google AdSense id is approved for use with RSS ads, FeedBurner will take care of the rest as part of our suite of services.”

So it sounds like everything with AdSense in RSS is already taken care of; it’s just a matter of when/if Google plans to launch it.

Marc May 24, 2007 at 5:25 am

That’s going to be very, very interesting. While I’m sure TLA’s offering is reasonable, nothing matches the advertisers that Google has in its pool.

dot info domain May 24, 2007 at 6:13 am

that’s true

Aaron Cook May 25, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Yep, I fully agree. Plus, sites with lower traffic amounts don’t even qualify for TLA’s Feedvertising program, so it’s not even a viable option for many folks to begin with. The smaller blogs that can definitely use that extra income stream lose out completely.

But if Google monetizes the FeedBurner feeds with AdSense you can bet your boots that the smaller publishers won’t be left out.

Needless to say, TLA will certainly have their hands full going against Google/FeedBurner in the RSS monetization arena. And I bet they’ll totally drop those traffic requirements too…just like Kontera did.

Dog Breed Information May 23, 2007 at 5:37 pm

Sometimes I shriek when Google buys companies. They are getting so big and powerful that they can control information. Also, the vast amount of data they own will allow them to spot trends and become even more powerful.

On the flip side, products often improve once Google buys them.

website copywriter May 24, 2007 at 12:22 am

Reminds me of that Google mock-umentary John posted c/o YouTube a while back — it’s inspiring how they’re getting bigger every second, but can be a little scary, too. :shock:

Marc May 24, 2007 at 5:26 am

Google could do all of the stuff you’re worried about seven years ago. We’re way past that stage. Just enjoy the ride from here on out ’cause there’s no getting off…

dot info domain May 24, 2007 at 6:15 am

yep, google has all our surfing info

we’re doomed

InvestorBlogger May 23, 2007 at 5:45 pm

100 million. I know my eyes are just open, but that can’t be right! That little website! Wow!


blogcrowds May 23, 2007 at 7:33 pm

Feedburner is by no mean a little website!

PR 8
Alexa 318
On Technorati it has 5 times more authority than the Engadget
As of 21 May 07 feeding 422,717 publishers who’ve burned 721,074 feeds


Pallab May 23, 2007 at 7:39 pm

Feedburner is growing at a phenomenal rate.

website copywriter May 24, 2007 at 12:24 am

With Google as it’s mothership, we could all bet that Feedburner can only get bigger (and better?).

Aaron Cook May 23, 2007 at 11:17 pm

According to Nielsen/NetRatings, FeedBurner is growing faster than MySpace and Digg and has a 385% traffic growth.

Total feeds: 721,074
Number of publishers: 422,717
Number of podcast & videocast feeds: 111,383

Definitely worth $100 million. Just imagine all the ad revenue Google can pull in off of that. It should pay for itself many times over in a very, very short time.

dot info domain May 24, 2007 at 6:17 am

it’s one of the most widely used website online

almost every experienced blogger has got an account with them.

Dy ( May 23, 2007 at 6:12 pm

I wonder if that’s going to change how we implement our feeds.

dot info domain May 24, 2007 at 6:16 am

it’ll be a lot easier

maybe as easy as a single click

Gdog May 23, 2007 at 6:36 pm

Google will run our lives soon…thanks!

HotCongas May 23, 2007 at 6:39 pm

$10 million to $100 million in 4 years – not a bad return indeed. I see more of these buyouts happening as the major players jockey for position.

I suspect the reason Google did it is because people are probably clicking less-and-less on Adsense ads than before. Adsense ads are almost too pervasive. I think many are suffering from “Adsense overload” and probably ignore the ads the great majority of the time. I, for one, can’t remember the last time I clicked on an Adsense ad (or Adwords for that matter).

Marc May 24, 2007 at 5:28 am

I think their 2006 Q4 earnings of 1 billion would tend to deflate that argument…

dot info domain May 24, 2007 at 6:26 am

good point indeed

but there are always those who just joined the internet age…they just can’t help but click…

uf... May 23, 2007 at 7:40 pm

its getting sad seeing all the news here as re-writes of techcrunch, problogger etc. no offence, but I get opinion that its true what they say about china people and their lack of originality. you guys are best at copying stuff, and making it less expensive with your cheap work-force. no wonder you’re gonna take on the world… I see more and more Chinamen illegally in my country taking jobs from local people, just because they are prepared to work 22 hours a day for 2$… did you guys ever invent something, except modifying better existing inventions and making them cheaper?

John Chow May 23, 2007 at 8:43 pm

Actually, it’s Japan that is good at copying. We just like to beat people up with Kung Fu. :twisted:

Marc May 24, 2007 at 5:29 am

You and your ninjas…

dot info domain May 24, 2007 at 6:28 am

john, he’s a racist

but there’s no need to say that about japan

You’ve got to admit that Japan for the time being as a whole is a lot more Creative than China…

chatteress May 24, 2007 at 6:34 am

I actually thought you were Canadian. I know this is way off topic but…

John Chow May 24, 2007 at 8:58 am

I am Canadian.

website copywriter May 24, 2007 at 12:32 am

Umm, Jackie Chan? He’s pretty awesome and I thank the Orient for him everyday! :grin:

dot info domain May 24, 2007 at 6:24 am

well, you’re a racist alright

little hitler you’re

let me tell you this:

Chinese invented paper, fireworks, compass and printing….

they have contributed a lot

They just wanted a better life through hard-working

what’s wrong with that

sergi May 23, 2007 at 9:16 pm

They are borgs… :evil:

Jack May 23, 2007 at 9:44 pm

why couldn’t you just keep focus on the topic? oh please… all people know, only jealous people say that :cool:

Law of Attraction May 23, 2007 at 9:52 pm

Yep Google is the new MS….thats a really good buy !!

website copywriter May 24, 2007 at 12:35 am

I still can’t get over the Google workplace. During lunch breaks they get spa treatments and meet with their personal trainer. After the break, they find online ventures they can buy off. :cool:

justinf May 24, 2007 at 1:53 am

its interesting that its an all cash deal.
YouTube was an all stock deal. Did the Feedburner founders play hard ball in order to get cold hard cash?

Rhys May 24, 2007 at 3:29 am

The interesting thing is the whole Adsense for feeds. What would happen if your blog was scraped? Would you not mind as your adsense would be displayed? Or would they generate invalid clicks, thus shutting your programme down when it really isn’t your fault? Only time will tell whether this is a good move or a disaster.

Marc May 24, 2007 at 5:31 am

That’s probably why they’re testing it out with select publishers first. Hopefully they’ll iron all of that out. Scrapers could bypass showing our ads if they wanted to without any trouble at all so we won’t get that windfall.

Nick May 24, 2007 at 6:41 am

I wonder when Google will buy a phone company and TV network?

website copywriter May 25, 2007 at 11:49 am

Real soon, I bet…

Amanda May 24, 2007 at 7:17 am

I say congrats to them feedburner for making the money but google.. I SAY NO SOUP FOR YOU!

gaskin May 24, 2007 at 7:41 am

better google than microsoft…

Josh Kaufman May 24, 2007 at 7:53 am

Is this everyone’s feedburner chicklets are currently MIA? :mad:

Learn Guitar Online May 24, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Nevermind they’re back now :smile:

Chicago 2016 May 24, 2007 at 8:18 pm

Feedburner, hell yeah! A Chicago-based company.

Chicago 2016 May 24, 2007 at 8:19 pm

At least Feedburner still has its ‘cool web startup’ status. Google is on its way to losing theirs.

MySEOProject May 25, 2007 at 7:48 pm

Google buys and gets bigger and bigger. Yahoo and MSN buy and try to catch up. Do you think that with the growing anti-google sentiment and with the recent purchases by Yahoo and MSN of companies that will help them, that maybe we should look at optimizing our content for Yahoo and MSN instead of Google? It is kind of like the rabbit and the hare. Google is the rabbit and has been going like a bat out of hell for the last 7 years….but the old turtle Yahoo is still a powerful force and seems to keep a steady pace. What do you think? Does the future of Internet Search equal Yahoo plus MSN??

sergi June 11, 2007 at 7:00 pm

When they gonna start Google Bank..get you GOOGLE VISA CARD Today!

Matt - Domain Feed June 12, 2007 at 12:15 pm

I love to hear things like this. One of my goals is to create a service that will be bought out for a huge some like this.