The social marketing and search engine world is buzzing over the potential acquisition of StumbleUpon by leading auction company eBay. The news of interest from eBay filtered into the news on April 18th with other potential suitors being AOL and Google but yesterday TechCrunch announced the acquisition by eBay is in “advanced talks” for a rumored $75 million.

$75 Million? Wow, it seems social marketing has ignited the passion over at eBay. After all, the first reports were a valuation of $40 – $45 Million back on April 18th.

Tech guru Om Malik over at GigaOm has an interesting hypothesis on eBay’s intentions for this social bookmarking tool: “By marrying the toolbar to a Skype client, eBay can do an end-run around Google’s dominance of the search business. A simple search box inside the Skype client is all it would take.”

Google continues to grow so quickly I find myself getting pumped when any company has the potential of knocking them down a peg or two. It is the kind of shake-up that makes life interesting – something that is vastly needing in the search engine realm. Furthermore eBay has my vote for success because I think it is a company familiar with winning the long race; a necessary trait if they decide to take on a giant like Google.

What is StumbleUpon?
“The StumbleUpon Toolbar is integrated with the user’s browser to allow for one-click access to quality web sites. A simple 2-level rating system gives users the opportunity to pass on or give their opinion on any webpage with a single click. These ratings also connect people sharing unique combinations of interests. Stumblers share their favorite web sites and interact with other users to further improve their web surfing experience.” (source,

I use StumbleUpon regularly and can confirm from my own experience that the quality of ‘Stumbled’ sites is very high. Indeed I have noticed distinct spikes in StepForth’s website traffic whenever one of our SEO Blog articles are ‘Stumbled’ by users.