Ask Jeeves has acquired Bloglines, a site that provides a range of functions associated with blogging. A search engine for blog content and an RSS aggregator/reader, Blogline's acquisition reflects the growing importance of RSS feeds and blog content to search. The site is a leader in the space and the acquisition is a bid to leap ahead of other search competitors, all of which have blog platforms or RSS readers.
"Eight million American adults say they have created blogs; blog readership jumped 58% in 2004 and now stands at 27% of internet users; 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online; and 12% of internet users have posted comments or other material on blogs. Still, 62% of internet users do not know what a blog is."
The text of the Jeeves/Bloglines release is here.