Google Doesn’t Acquire Hitwise

April 19, 2007

That’s what the headline on Experian’s acquisition of Hitwise should have read.  I expect Yahoo to ignore web strategy, so I won’t even ask who went on vacation.

Hitwise collects web usage data on multiple retailers in a variety of store categories.  It’s real competitor data, not the fake traffic stuff Alexa and others.  Hitwise data is truly invaluable if you’re looking for benchmarks, analyzing competitors, or any other custom web research you want to undertake.  Any retailer selling anything but truck parts has had their internet marketing consultant tell them they need Hitwise data. 

Couple of reasons Google should have acquired Hitwise:

  • At $240 million, it’s just a manageable price with real revenue.
  • Hitwise clients are online retailers who are big enough to spend, so you’ve got both new advertising customers and another line of service to sell to your existing captive advertisers.
  • Google already has data comparable to Hitwise, but Google promised not to sell it and be evil, but it doesn’t say anything about using it as a reference.

Experian did buy Hitwise, smart move, just like many of their other web companies.  It’s a natural fit for a company with a great database of intimate financial information, and looks like they’re on a path to clash with IAC, especially if Experian acquires First American next.

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