Google has been on the prowl searching for new and great ideas coming up from the fantasy world of startups. Pyra Labs (Blogger), Baidu, Picasa, Urchin Softwares (Google Analytics), Android, Doubleclick, Feedburner....the list goes on. (A detailed list can be found here)Lots of great services. Lots of great softwares. But sometimes, I feel that they have missed out some of the great services out there.
Some of you might have used Zemanta. The great addon that suggests keywords, gets related links, related photos and more. They support browsers IE and Firefox (support for Chrome should be on its way), platforms like Blogger, Wordpress, Ning, Typespace and many others. And also I should say, they have a very great support base. (When I faced some problems with my Firefox and Zemanta, I got to interact direct with the engineers and they got it done very fast)
The only problem that I can see in front of this cute startup is the M-word, Monetization. The only way I can think of is having two versions, one with less features and one with more, and get professional bloggers to pay for it. But I don't think that will bring in much money.
Another strategy that co-founder Bostjan Spetic (Zemanta is based in Slovenia) has in mind is to get affliate links for bloggers from which money can be split between the blogger and the company. It sounds like a good one, but the question remains, "How much money can these bring in for the company?"
Till date, Zemanta has taken around $ 1.5 million through funding. They also have plans to go for a full round funding by this year end. But, in this state of world economy, if they fail to raise money, we don't want them to collapse.
That is why Google should buy Zemanta. This is one product that goes hand in hand with the blogging facility that Google provides. If they can spent $100 million for Feedburner (which is twice what India spent on its recent exploration to moon!) , they can easily shell out a handsome amount for Zemanta. I am not an authority to put a price tag for Zemanta, but I will say $15 - $20 million is a good amount. Also, we would love to see the addon integrated into blogger platform which will save the pain to install in every system that we use. Zemanta will be the biggest feature addition that Google can have in Blogger. And, they will bring in just 7 employees. So, why the wait? Go ahead and buy them.
(P.S : I have taken for granted that Zemanta is waiting for someone like Google to make an offer that they can't refuse)