But you still have to ask if he senses a slowing down in the search business. When you run a business that has conferences (such as The Kelsey Group's events) long enough, you can feel the pulse of an industry. The buyer, Incisive Media, a British-based company that heretofore has been extremely successful in specializing in business information niches (not unlike Primedia could have been if it had had decent management), obviously believes in the future of this business even though it has no experience. "Search is considered by many to be the main driver behind the growth of online advertising spend throughout the world," the company's press release crowed.
The picture on the front of today's New York Times Business Section is an old one showing Gerald Levin happily shaking Steve Case's hand after Warner paid too much for AOL. That was a merger. This is an asset sale. Still, it makes you wonder who got the better deal. It's not clear exactly what the multiple of revenues or earnings was, but $43 million in cash will let Mr. Meckler buy a lot of images.
For the record, The Kelsey Group believes that the search business, in particular local search, is still in its infancy.