Searching for Quality, Marchex Buys IndustryBrains
Seattle-based Marchex, which is the parent of TrafficLeader, the SEM/SEO firm behind several YP (and newspaper) simplified search marketing programs, has announced the roughly $30 million acquisition of IndustryBrains, which operates a vertical/contextual ad network.
At the end of April, Marchex acquired most of the assets of Pike Street Industries. The deal was reported to be worth $16.5 million in cash and $3.5 million in stock. Pike Street owned the Yellow.com and WhitePages.net domains, which reportedly had two million monthly unique visitors. Just two months before that, Marchex bought Name Development Ltd., which owned a portfolio of more than 100,000 domains. Some of those domains are €œgeneric€ and/or €œdictionary terms€ to which people directly navigate.
Quality is a big issue with second and third tier search networks and getting access to quality leads has become a focus of many in the search and IYP industry.
The motivation behind the IndustryBrains acquisition is undoubtedly to bring more quality and vertical targeting into Marchex's proprietary search-distribution network. IndustryBrains has distribution deals with marquee publishers such as BusinessWeek, USATODAY, Ziff Davis Media and CMP, among others.
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>>The motivation behind the IndustryBrains acquisition is undoubtedly to bring more [b]quality and vertical targeting [/b] into Marchexâ€™s proprietary search-distribution network.
Yes, [b]plus[/b] some other significant factors:
1. Owning the ad serving process
2. Owning more of the advertising dollar
When you [b]own the inventory[/b] everything changes. Ad these properties to the Enhance Network, and one begins to get the picture that Traffic Leader is less about aggregation and fulfillment and more an ad network. At least margin consideration would suggest so.
Good summary and brief analysis, Greg. Not much mainstream press attention given to this story so I blogged it (with my own added analysis, of course). I wanted to point out a typo in your first paragraph you should correct. `IndustryBrians' should be `IndustryBrains'. Kind of a crucial error, eh? ;)
Thanks Doug for the catch re the typo and Justin for the additional analysis.