Showing that even a successful company can still have a sense of humor, Google
If an online dating service as an April Fool's Day prank sounds familiar, it should. We launched the similar Love.Fool.com four years and five April Fool's Day jokes ago. Should we be offended that the $110 billion Google is mirroring our Foolish ways? Are you kidding? That's flattery, folks.
Then again, I'll go out on a limb and predict that as funny as Google Romance may be, in three years or less we'll be talking about Google Romance as the real deal.
Hear me out. Google's weekend joke was so effective because many of its search-engine rivals are already major players in online dating. Yahoo!
Online dating is big business. According to comScore Media Matrix, Yahoo! Personals and Match.com are the most active sites, drawing 5.3 million and 3.9 million unique monthly visitors, respectively. Because relationship-seekers are also willing to pay for online introductions, the services help diversify the revenue mix. With 99% of its revenues still coming from advertising, Google would be more stupid than Cupid to forgo a shot at a high-margin niche that would help grow its ever-expanding reach.
Even The Knot
Google Romance may be funny now, but I'll eat a chalky candy heart if Google doesn't ultimately go in this direction. Maybe it will launch its own site, without the comical User A and User B going on a "contextual" date. Maybe it will tap into its ever-growing stash of cash and acquire a company like eHarmony or True.com. Folks flock to Google in order to search for things, so why not seek out significant others?
Either way, Google and online dating can't be too far away from hooking up for real. It would be a match made in dot-com heaven.
The Knot was recommended in the February issue of the Rule Breakers premium stock research service. The average selection is up 35% since the newsletter's inception, while the S&P 500 has mustered a mere 7.5% advance in the same period.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has only been married once -- which should be enough for him. He recommends The Motley Fool's Guide to Couples and Cash as required relationship reading, and he does not own any of the shares mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.