Google Acquires reCAPTCHA To Improve OCR & Rumors Of Brightcove Acquisition

The big news is that Google has officially acquired reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA are those funny looking letters you see when you fill out forms, asking you to enter in the letters into a box, in order for you to validate that you are indeed a human.

Why did Google buy them? Not for the CAPTCHA feature, but as a way to improve their OCR technology, the technology they use to understand scanned words. reCAPTCHA has a pretty large database of letters they collected matched to what actual humans thought those letters were. This is somewhat similar to how Google Image Labeler works, where Google shows you an image, and a human types what that is an image of. In the reCAPTCHA scenario, they are showing you a scanned word from a newspaper and asking humans to tell them what that word is. By collecting billions of these matches, Google can use this data to improve their OCR technology in the realm of Google Book Search or Google News Archive.

The second bit of acquisition news is the rumor that Google will buy Brightcove for $500-$700 million. Brightcove is an online video platform typically used by media companies to publish and distribute video across the Internet. Brightcove is less of a user generated platform then YouTube, but more of a media distribution venue for video. The rumor stems from a tweet from Mark Glaser, where he said:

Source with knowledge of deal tells me video service Brightcove in talks with Google about buyout in $500m to $700m range.

Neither company has confirmed or commented on these rumors. For more coverage, see Techmeme.

Postscript: A new report is saying this Brightcove Google rumor is false.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Acquisitions | Google: Business Issues


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  


Other ways to share:

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide