Google Buys Engagement Ranking Service PostRank

In recent days, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has lamented the tech giant’s foot-dragging when it comes to the social sphere.

Google notably lagged in social products, finally releasing Google Buzz in 2010 to a response that could charitably be called tepid. Not only did Google Buzz fail to titillate users already well grounded in Facebook and on Twitter, some feature of the program ultimately got Google sued for being a bit too social with unconsenting parties. Anyway, Google has been a bit spotty on the whole “social” front.

But earlier this week- just yesterday in fact- Google added a +1 button for ranking. And today, social engagement ranking service PostRank has announced it has been acquired by Google and will be moving to Mountain View. In a blog post, the service gushes:

We are extremely excited to join Google. We believe there is simply no better company on the web today that both understands the value of the engagement data we have been focusing on, and has the platform and reach to bring its benefits to the untold millions of daily, active Internet users. Stay tuned, we’ll be sure to share details on our progress in the coming months!

Details of the sale have not yet been made public. Do you think the purchase signals a more measured social strategy on Google’s part?