The Value of Search & Contexual Ads...

SearchEngineWatch, a decade in the making, sold along with ClickZ and the Search Engine Strategies conference for only $43 million.

IndustryBrains, a small rather obscure contextual network recently sold for $31 million. Sure they have a few good publishing partners, but their business model is absurdly easy to replicate.

Many advertising companies depend on large off the web media organizations being inept at selling online media. As time passes and consolidation continues many obscure businesses relying on market ineffiencies will watch their business models erode.

I find it mind boggling that IndustryBrains sold for about the same amount as SearchEngineWatch did, but many people have stated they think SEW was underpriced or there is something missing in the story, and Jupiter's stock was down sharply today on slower image sales growth.

The point of this post though was that the single most authoritative voice on search was priced at about the same amount as a third tier contextual ad seller, which goes to show how much money there is in search ads and contexual ads.

Published: August 3, 2005 by Aaron Wall in marketing


August 3, 2005 - 8:07am

well where does most of SEW's revenue come from? try to estimate it's profit. Search is very volitile. What if Danny leaves..etc.

August 3, 2005 - 8:18am

>well where does most of SEW's revenue come from?

Guessing on prices here, but I believe the rotating network wide links go for about $6,000 - $7,000 each, surely that revenue will be cut a bit with the sale.

I believe the microbanners go for about $5,000 - $6,000 a month each, and there are about 20 of those.

The larger media block probably goes for $40,000 - 50,000 a month minimum.

Search Engine Strategies is $1,795 per person per event.

Search Engine Strategies sells a ton of ads, book cover sponsor, cocktail party sponsor, breakfast sponsor, large banner sponsor, premier sponsors, premier plus sponsors, pens, note pads, booths at so many thousands each, etc etc etc.

Search Engine Watch subscription is $99 a year I think.

Search Engine Watch or Search Engine Strategies (not sure which or if both) also sends out sponsored media emails.

I would guess Search Engine Strategies probably helps them cross sell their JupiterResearch product well.

Don't forget the value of the network link popularity. Few sites are as strong on link popularity as Search Engine Watch is.

The what if Danny leaves would be a huge thing though.

August 3, 2005 - 10:42am

I would guess Danny has a new contract, a minimum contract period and one mother of a noncompete clause :)

August 3, 2005 - 6:18pm

..."absurdly easy to replicate." Let's get our good publishing partners and do it Aaron. All I have to say is Danny did it right. Go Danny, go.

August 4, 2005 - 12:42am

as far as the value of SEW vs. IndustryBrains.

-does anyone see search advertising growth slowing down anytime soon? If you had an odd 40 million lying around, why not buy something that might get re-bought for $300 million in 18 months.

-As much as SEO's have been dashing to and fro the last year learning about & exploiting new technologies, I would think the challenge for granddaddy sights like SEW is to keep themselves up to date. I spend less time there and at WMW because I spend a lot more time at tool sites, blogs and threadwatch.

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