FeedBurner Deal Puts Google Closer To Controlling Online Publishers - InformationWeek

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5/25/2007
04:16 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman
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FeedBurner Deal Puts Google Closer To Controlling Online Publishers

If Google finally pulls the trigger and closes its proposed deal to buy FeedBurner, it will be one step closer to having all the tools its needs to control online publishers. Do you feel that hand near your throat?

If Google finally pulls the trigger and closes its proposed deal to buy FeedBurner, it will be one step closer to having all the tools its needs to control online publishers. Do you feel that hand near your throat?According to TechCrunch, Google is close to finalizing a $100 million deal to acquire RSS/XML feed provider FeedBurner.

Some are skeptical about the deal, pointing out that consumer adoption of RSS isn't as great as many had hoped. Well, RSS use is growing and, more importantly, XML feeds are quickly becoming the backbone of online publishing.

With this deal, Google can integrate both AdWords and, soon, DoubleClick into FeedBurner's feeds as well as create more sophisticated RSS search tools. But, more importantly, Google would gain access to all of FeedBurner's publisher customers.

This gets even more interesting if you consider the fact that Google will soon control DoubleClick, the ad platform many online publishers use for their display advertising.

If Google closes this deal, it would control both the primary display ad vehicle and the main RSS feeder for many online publishers. Let me spell it out: Google would control publishers' RSS/XML engine, one of their main sources for their news page views (Google News), their main source for readers for their older content (Google's main search), their display ad network (DoubleClick), and their text ad network (AdWords).

Does this mean that online publishers will be at Google's mercy? Or will Google only use this power for good?

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