Google is serious about getting more social and analytical this year. Today it was announced that the Internet giant has purchased PostRank, a monitoring service that packs a hanfdul of features for measuring engagement and influence, and maintaining brand integrity over the social media space. These capabilities wrap-up inside Google Analytics will be a powerful combination. We can't wait.

Essentially, PostRank (news, site) scans the web in real-time for social mentions via comments, Facebook updates, tweets and the like so that brands and publishers can gauge content influence. A packed-in analytics tool can then be used for discovering influencers, measuring performance and benchmarking the competition: 

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PostRank Analytics

Which part of PostRank's technology was most attractive to Google is unknown, though rolling up pretty much any and all of it into current offerings would provide the Internet giant with a nice boost. 

For example, PostRank's “Connect” feature, which provides social data to brands and PR agencies, could compete with Facebook Connect. And we can only imagine what kind of goodness that would come from adding to the pot of Google Analytics capabilities. 

"Indeed, conversations online are an important signal for advertisers, publishers, developers and consumers — but today’s tools only skim the surface of what we think is possible," says PostRank's official blog post on the acquisition. "We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, and we now look forward to working with Google’s team to build more useful tools for measuring engagement online, and we’ll be sure to share details on our progress in the coming months."

For current PostRank customers, the acquisition doesn't mean much, as the service will continue to operate normally. New signups have been closed down, however, and the PostRank team will be relocating from Waterloo to Google's headquarters in Mountain View. 

As for the G-side, representatives aren't giving away any juicy secrets, but one Google spokesperson did say the following: 

We’re always looking for new ways to measure and analyze data, and as social analytics become increasingly important for online businesses, we’re excited to work with the PostRank team to make this data more actionable and accountable. They have developed an innovative approach to measuring web engagement, and we think they can help us improve our products for our users and advertisers.