More than anything, Topsy is a search and analytics company, holding a number of search-related patents that could be implemented directly into the App or iTunes Stores to improve searches and discovery. One patent helps rank search results based on reputation and influence, which could be used to help higher quality apps rise to the top of App Store search results, for example.
Another patent details the return of search results to include popular items related to a specific query on a social media site. While not directly related, a similar technology could be incorporated into App Store search. For example, a user searching for Major League Baseball apps could be linked to other trending sports apps for the NFL or NBA.
Twitter considered buying Topsy as well because, according to AllThingsD, "Topsy’s search technology and tools were even more effective than Twitter’s own in-house search tools" but Twitter ultimately decided to pass on the purchase.
Apple has purchased companies in the past to boost its search results on the App Store, most notably Chomp, acquired by the company last year.
Apple has also been focusing on increasing its advertising revenue in recent years, first with iAd's in-app advertising, and more recently with iTunes Radio. Another Topsy patent relates to the display of certain advertisements to users based on an "influence score" that helps determine which