Date: April 2003

Acquired for: $102 Million

Ever wondered how Google AdSense came about? Applied Semantics gets most of the credit for developing the fundamental algorithm that automatically targets ads based on Internet viewers and site content. Expansion would soon follow as Google placed its focus on acquiring banner ads specialist DoubleClick and the mobile advertising platform AdMob, which supports Android, iOS, webOs, Windows Phone and all standard mobile web browsers. In the end, the acquisition forever changed the online ad revenue game and remains the driving force behind Google’s multi-billion-dollar operation.