Home Exclusive: Blogdigger Acquired by Odeo

Exclusive: Blogdigger Acquired by Odeo

Blog search engine Blogdigger will be announcing shortly that it has been acquired by SonicMountain, parent company of Odeo – the podcast network that is currently being rebuilt as a full-fledged platform for digital media. Blogdigger’s aggregation and media search technology is being integrated into the new Odeo, and Blogdigger founder and CEO Greg Gershman is joining Odeo full time as its Vice President of Search and Engineering.

The new Odeo is due to be launched at the beginning of April. It refocuses Odeo on digital media – i.e. audio and video, not just podcasts. Meanwhile Blogdigger, which Gershman told us is a profitable company, will continue to operate as an independent site.

Blogdigger started at around the same time as ReadWriteWeb (we began publishing April 2003) and it was one of the first RSS-based blog search engines. I first corresponded with Greg Gershman around the time we started our respective endeavours. Over the past 5 years Blogdigger has been one of the less high profile blog search companies around – but even so we’ve often compared it to Technorati and Feedster. In 2005, Blogdigger diversified from blog content to focus more on digital media. At that time it launched a media search product, to extract and index media content from blog content – including audio, video, and images. Blogdigger has also experimented with Groups and Local apps.

This acquisition by Odeo is probably as much about hiring the talent of Gershman than it is about Blogdigger. The acquisition figure isn’t being divulged. However Gershman was pretty frank about Blogdigger’s fortunes over the past 5 years, admitting that their better funded competition (notably Technorati) have dominated the blog search sector. This sector has also had its high profile failures, it should be noted – Feedster and PubSub among them.

How Blogdigger Has Fared Over 5 Years

I admire the way Blogdigger has diversified through the years and consistently sought out new niches within blog search. The digital media part of its business is what, in the end, differentiated Blogdigger from the crowd. It’s worth reading Greg’s story in full, below, as it provides an informative glimpse into how a small, unfunded startup has battled through 5 years and finally had a successful conclusion (well, we hope the price paid can be deemed a success). And remember that Blogdigger, like this blog, launched well before the web 2.0 hype began. Here’s Greg’s story:

“Regarding Blogdigger: as the blog search space grew more crowded, we tried a few different approaches to keep Blogdigger relevant. One was to expand
into various other blog search applications, such as media search and local
search. Media search really had the most traction, due to some of the
search partnerships we had with sites like Webjay and Ourmedia. At our peak
we were serving over 100,000 pages a day (not including RSS feeds; our RSS
searches have continued to grow over the years, we now service about 400K
searches a day). Since those partnerships went away, we’ve lost a good
portion of our traffic, but, strangely, our revenues are about the same,
only slightly lower (not in proportion to our traffic decrease). We still
have a good number of users (our stats are on Quantcast), and some good partnerships, including
powering the search for Jurist, a blog project
run out of the University of Pittsburgh’s Law School.

We’ve also licensed to
market intelligence and monitoring services, and are hoping to continue to
grow this in the future. Due to various factors (some of which were that we
never raised any outside funding for the site, also as a differentiator) we
moved away from trying to index all the blogs on the web, to making sure
that our index was as spam-free and duplicate-free as possible. The goal is
that when you look for information, you get good results each time. This
has proved beneficial in attracting partners to syndicate our results on
their sites, which in turn has helped us build traffic to Blogdigger.”

Congratulations Greg and team. And we look forward to the new Odeo, which we will be checking out soon.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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