Wow, Google has bought Blogger. I’m not sure what to think of this. If you didn’t know, this blog and its sister, Found on the Web, are run through the Blogger system.
What is this going to mean? Why would Google buy Blogger? I can completely understand why owner Evan Williams would sell Pyra Labs, Blogger’s developer. It’s a golden opportunity, completely dwarfing other fortunate opportunities. Gillmor, in his eJournal on the subject, opines that this deal will
… help readers of weblogs and other information find and collect material from a variety of sites.
It’s hard to see how this all fits in with Google since its innovations have all been in accessing information better. Google Groups made it easier to find information in the newsgroups, though that property—acquired from defunct Déja News—has never been integrated into the main Google search. Google Images made it easier to find graphic content amid the texual Web. Froogle promises to facilitate product searching among e-commerce sites. What’s Bloogle going to bring to the picture? Google search is already indexing blogs, including this one, on a regular basis—Google’s crawler is currently the most frequent visitor to this site, sadly. There is a great deal of speculation about what Google will get out of this deal.
If Yahoo had done this, I wouldn’t even have blinked since it fits right in with their portal strategy. They’ve got Yahoo! Groups and GeoCities, among many other such properties. They’re acquisitory and they’re really interested in content creation. Google is none of these things.
[UPDATE] The New York Times weighs in. Tony Pierce offers an insight.