If you haven’t heard already, the big news today is that Google announced it would be acquiring Frommer’s, a travel guide enterprise, from John Wiley & Son, Inc. at a price of $25 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. For those of you counting, that makes a whopping seven acquisitions by Google so far this year, beginning with social networking company Milk, Inc. in mid-March.
One of Google’s oldest claims is that it isn’t interested in creating content, but rather pointing users to the content. But as the Wall Street Journal notes, things seem to be changing. The question now is whether or not Google itself qualifies as a media company and possible content creator. With the acquisition of Frommer’s, Google is getting into the travel business. Might Google Travel be coming soon? Even if it isn’t, there’s no denying that every year Google seems to offer yet another tool or service, to the degree that, as Matt Miller notes in a Forbes article, he isn’t alone in more or less relying on Google for, well, everything.
In all, Google has acquired over 100 separate companies since its inception, and with each one it’s expanded its reach into new territory. What has it pulled in this year? Let’s take a look:
It’s safe to say that 2012 is the year of social for Google, making a foray into greater instant messaging capability, and debuting its own online payment service. Now, with its acquisition of Frommer’s, Google seems poised to take a strong foothold in the travel industry (perhaps making further use of its own flight booking through Google Flights).
The crazy thing? This year is only two-thirds over. Who knows what Google will acquire or debut in the next four months. One thing is for sure though: we’ll be watching.