Google Buys Travel Site Ruba

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has made its second iGoogle-related acquisition in less than a month, buying up small online travel site Ruba, which features photo-centric guides to various locations, all contributed by users. TechCrunch, which confirmed the acquisition with Google, says Ruba will now be integrated into iGoogle in some way. In late April, Google also bought up iGoogle widget developer LabPixies in order to “anchor the company’s iGoogle efforts across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”

No financial terms were released and it’s not clear how much cash 15-month-old Ruba had raised from backers Benchmark and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Also unclear why Google was particularly interested in Ruba, considering the plethora of much more popular travel sites out there (Compete puts Ruba’s traffic in March at just 22,000 unique visitors).

One possibility: Founder and CTO Arnaud Weber was previously a technical lead on the Chrome browser, while CEO Mike Cassidy also has a prominent background; he co-founded Xfire, the video gaming community which was sold to Viacom (NYSE: VIA) for $102 million four years ago.

This is, by our count, Google’s 17th acquisition since August — and its third this week.