Scrubbing behind the fridge isn't exactly sexy, but it could be good business for Google.
The tech giant has hired the engineering team from the soon-to-be defunct Homejoy, a start-up which allowed you to book home cleaners online and is set to close July 31. That has raised speculation that Google will be looking to start providing things like referrals to electricians and plumbers.
"What Google did here was they apparently hired part of the engineering staff of Homejoy. It was successful. People liked it but they are being forced to shut down partially because of the same issues that plagued Uber in terms of who's an employee, who's a contractor," CNET senior editor Dan Ackerman told CBS News. "So, they saw an opportunity to pick up almost a readymade chunk of services that can add to their site."
A Google spokesperson confirmed that "a portion" of the Homejoy team was joining the company. But the company said it wasn't "sharing additional details beyond that."
Ackerman said the move makes sense, even as Google has said it is looking to cut costs in the face of strong second quarter earnings on Thursday. The strong results sent Google's stock skyrocketing and its market capitalization, already around $403 billion, rose some $65 billion to finish at $468.3 billion on Friday.
"I think it's much more of a bread and butter issue than let's say inventing virtual reality glasses to just kind of give people referrals to local contractors in their neighborhood," he said. "If you go on Google Now and you search for restaurants or anything on Google Maps, you can often get a lot of that information pulled right into Google. You don't have to leave the site and it's sort of the same thing."
Ackerman said the expansion into home services wouldn't be so much about generating revenue as "being sort of a one-stop shop, keeping you from leaving that kind of Googlesphere and going somewhere else."
They are the latest big tech company, following Amazon, to show an interest in this space.
"I suppose they could eventually charge for placement of ads or give you a better response if you are one of their signed up contractors," he said. "But I don't think they are looking to make money from this right now."
It also fits in nicely with what Google does so well.
"What is Google's mission statement? It's to take the world's information and organize it and present it to you," he said. "This kind of stays within that because you go to Google to search for stuff. They are saying, hey, here is a plumber, electrician right here. You don't have to go to some other website."
for more features.