reCaptcha Acquisition – Leverage Squared!

I was delighted to hear about Google’s  acquisition of the innovative startup reCaptcha.

I wrote about the business model of reCaptcha in a previous blog post in August 2008. Here is the link. Please read the previous blog post to get the background story:

Aug 16, 2008 – Doing Good Via Spam Protection: The Art of Leverage

If reCaptcha is an example of ultimate leverage, Google’s acquisition of reCaptcha is a case of ultimate leverage squared.

The outcome of a reCaptcha exercise is digitized texts of old books and old newspapers – in other words – FRESH CONTENT.

From Google blog story on this acquisition:

In this way, reCAPTCHA’s unique technology improves the process that converts scanned images into plain text, known as Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This technology also powers large scale text scanning projects like Google Books and Google News Archive Search. Having the text version of documents is important because plain text can be searched, easily         rendered on mobile devices and displayed to visually impaired users. So we’ll be applying the technology within Google not only to increase fraud and spam protection for Google products but also to improve our books and newspaper scanning process.

A few more projects like this (eg: Google Knol) and Google will not only have the most popular search engine but also a steadily growing user and machine submitted content base that it controls. Now imagine adding Adsense to all this content. It is just like implementing AdSense on any other publisher – but in this case Google is also the Publisher – meaning it does not have to share ad revenues with anyone else.

ReCaptcha: The Art of Leverage

Google + ReCaptcha: The Art of Leverage Squared!

Hats off to both companies.