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Bazaarvoice makes a deal with Google

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By Lori Hawkins

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Published: 9:09 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Austin-based Bazaarvoice Inc. said Wednesday that it has teamed with Google Inc. to share product reviews in Google searches and advertisements.

The software developer said the partnership will allow its retail and manufacturing customers to use their product review content to generate more online traffic and increase brand exposure to online shoppers. Bazaarvoice is Google’s first platform for product review content.

Bazaarvoice, founded in 2005, sells e-commerce software that lets companies add ratings and reviews to their websites. Its software powers the websites of 800 brands including Costco Wholesale Corp. , Best Buy Co. Inc. , the Home Depot Inc. and Crate & Barrel .

Bazaarvoice CEO Brett Hurt said: “In the past four years, there has been a tremendous change in consumer shopping behavior as people increasingly rely on information from their friends and peers to make purchase decisions. Now, Google is affirming the power of social commerce with this partnership to integrate Bazaarvoice reviews content into Google.com — the heart of its business — as well as throughout product search and advertising vehicles.”

Sameer Samat, director of product management at Google, said consumer reviews have become a driving force for online purchasing.

“If we look back five years ago, it was editorial reviews by quote-unquote experts,” Samat said. “Now the Web has allowed ordinary folks to have a voice, and that voice is very influential. With this program, we’re reaching out to retailers and manufacturers and to use more of this content.”

Last week, Bazaarvoice announced a strategic alliance with the Nielsen Co. , one of the world’s largest media and consumer information companies.

The two companies said they will develop a new method for collecting, distributing and using consumer opinions. Nielsen also will analyze ratings and reviews collected by Bazaarvoice for clients.

One of Austin’s fastest-growing software companies, Bazaarvoice expects to reach 650 employees worldwide by May, including 300 in Austin. By comparison, Bazaarvoice had 400 employees in July, 170 of them in Austin.

To accommodate the hiring wave, Bazaarvoice in February added 26,500 square feet to its 51,000-square-foot headquarters in the San Clemente office project on Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) in West Austin.

The company — which is backed by $20 million in venture capital from Austin Ventures, Battery Ventures and First Round Capital — is considered by technology industry observers to be a candidate for an initial public offering. Hurt has said an IPO is an eventual goal for the company but has declined to provide a timetable.

lhawkins@statesman.com; 912-5955

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Written by wesley83

April 22, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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