Real estate agents are learning what Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) competitors have known for years: Google is hungry for real estate. Just as it keeps gobbling up market share with its search-engine stronghold, it also continues to snap up turf in the real world. Yesterday, the company disclosed in an SEC filing that it would spend $319 million on real estate transactions to boost its Mountain View, Calif., office space by nearly a billion square feet.

It won't all be new digs for the company -- it had already subleased office space in one of the buildings -- but it's still mildly ironic that the virtual real estate baron is now buying up the real stuff, too.

Investors have little reason to be nervous, but they might want to ask Google if this property-buying spree was the reason for the pair of secondary offerings it undertook over the past year. Since it was flush with cash, shareholders probably expected Google to make some material acquisitions, not just a choice between the top hat and the thimble in a game of Monopoly.

Beyond its $1 billion investment for a 5% stake in Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) AOL, Google's purchases have been mostly small-fry stuff. Keeping a big war chest is admirable, especially since the company competes against companies like Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), both of which have billions in the bank. But nobody is paying a premium to own any of these companies simply to buy into a risky money market fund -- or an overpriced REIT.

Unless there's black gold bubbling underneath the Mountain View soil to which Google just snagged the title, let's hope the company's next wave of purchases will be financially material ones.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a huge fan of Google, and it would be his homepage if not for He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.