3 Reasons Google Likes Like.com

Google has already mastered text-based search, but Google's Like.com acquisition, coupled with various other acquisitions Google has made this year, set the stage for game changing technology.

Google has yet to divulge exactly what it plans to do now that it has Like.com under its belt, but here are three possible reasons that Google likes -- nay, loves -- Like.com and just had to have it.

1. Google wants to hone its visual search chops. Like.com made a name for itself with its unique ability to use visual search to match its customers to certain articles of clothing. It uses vision and machine learning technology to let consumers find products based on their visual similarities. It's not far-fetched, seeing as Like.com grew out of Riya, a facial recognition player. Google is looking to broaden beyond text-based search, and has already started to make waves with its Google Goggles offering, which lets smartphone users search for more information about a certain object by snapping a picture of it with their Google Android smartphone. Like.com's visual search technology will further those capabilities.

2. Google is diving head first into social media and social networking. Visual search could play a role in Google's social networking strategy as the search giant adds more social media tools to its arsenal. Earlier this month, Google made two acquisitions key to its social networking play: Slide, an online entertainment company that focuses on virtual communities, and Jambool, a virtual currency platform. Tying those together with stronger visual search could have a big impact when it comes to finding contacts and friends on social networks.

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3. Google could be planning a retail or eCommerce onslaught. While a little far-fetched, Google could be amassing the tools necessary to launch a solid retail offering using Like.com's visual search technology and legacy with eCommerce. Google likely won't focus on men's and women's apparel as Like.com did, but it could very well be looking for way to match consumers with products using visual cues, while also offering up results that fit within their search parameters.