Another Google acquisition was the cry last week, and while this headline is starting to sound like a broken record, their now confirmed acquisition of Feedburner Inc. is the search engine giant’s most important one in recent times.
Forget the billion dollar MySpace and DoubleClick deals; Feedburner could be Google’s most important acquisition yet, especially considering the bargain price tag of only US$100 million, making it probably the buy of the year.
For those unfamiliar with Feedburner; it’s the company that powers more blog and website RSS feeds than any other. Feedburner is as famous as the little orange RSS icon it powers on so many websites. The most remarkable part is that the company’s success was simple: create a simple free service which perfectly services a vital need in one of the most prolific emerging social media markets, and you’re users will do the rest.
So why is Feedburner such an important acquisition for Google?
As the blogosphere continues to grow out of control, RSS feeds are an integral way for bloggers to share content, and more importantly, a vital way for readers to track their favourite blogs.
If you’re like me, you have an RSS aggregator that is filled with hundreds of posts daily, most of which are fed by Feedburner. While the feeds help me keep track of the latest content, it also means that I visit less blogs as I am able to screen content. So it’s in these feeds that Google finds one of it’s most significant advertising opportunities.
The potential exposure for feed advertisers will only continue to grow as more users resort to feed aggregators to collate and discover web content. Feedburner already burns over 700,000 feeds and has the likes of Verizon and Microsoft using their feed advertising to promote their services.
Google’s intentions of controlling all the world’s advertising mediums are obvious, so feed advertising was only a matter of time. The Feedburner acquisition was the easiest way to capture a lion share of the market, and at the bargain price they’ve paid, their competitors willing ruing another one that got away. Watch out as AdSense and potentially DoubleClick ads start appearing in your favourite blog feeds.