Google Opera Acquisition Rumor Makes Sense
There is a rumor floating around today that Google may be acquiring the Opera browser (and its 1% market share). Opera is an independent browser funded by search engine advertising. When someone performs a search on the Opera default search box, they are served partnered Google results. Opera’s revenue is based upon a percentage of the AdWords advertisements which are selected by Opera users.
The popularity of Opera and the success of a Google AdWords partnership led to Opera offering an advertisement free browser earlier in the year. Previously, Opera browsers were funded by in browser contextual or graphic display advertising. With Google monitoring the success and profitability of the Opera browser, along with Opera’s advanced functionality, the acquisition of the Opera company by Google seems a perfect fit.
Sushubh Mittal, an avid Opera user for over three years, also brings up a very good point about the Opera Google rumors:
“Opera also dominates the mobile browser market which is said to be the next big to target for the web based services and Google would like to have an upper hand over both Microsoft and Yahoo.
Mozilla is still working on their mobile browser solution and Opera makes more sense with its closed nature, which would enable Google to make a customized solution optimized for Google experience.”
Greg Sterling of the Kelsey Group also adds :
“Google’s toolbar and desktop search apps (including Sidebar) are moving in on offering browser-like tools and functionality without being a browser per se. If this rumor proves to be true, it would allow Google more control over the “virtual desktop” (since that’s what browsers are increasingly becoming) and more access to users/user behavior.”
To complicate the excitement of the search engine crowd and Opera & Google fanboys alike, Opera denies the rumor; “Rumors come and go. Google is not buying Opera.”