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WebTrends & iCrossing Make Acquisitions

I have to admit, I’ve never heard of the company ClickShift, but WebTrends certainly has. The web analytics company has just announced the acquisition of the paid search optimization firm.

So what exactly does ClickShift offer? ClickZ tells us

[ClickShift] will allow marketers to optimize their paid search campaign against any criteria. It automates multivariate testing of keyword, creative, landing page, and search ad network to find the most effective combinations, and reallocate the appropriate budget to that campaign.

ClickZ also reports that iCrossing has acquired Newgate Internet, a company offering , paid search, reputation management and word of mouth services.

Yahoo Buys Contest Site Bix, But Why?

I must admit to being a little perplexed as to why Yahoo decided it needed to acquire Bix, a company that provides online karaoke and contests.

The company does have 1 million users and has gotten to that size by offering contests with prizes worth as much as $50,000. But online karaoke?

I suspect this deal is as much about the people, as it is about the intellectual property. Here’s what TechCrunch has to say about the founder of Bix.

[CEO Mike] Speiser was previously the founder of Epinions…Yahoo! got a seasoned social media man to put in charge of a number of product management at the company’s most social products.

The fact that the terms of the deal were not disclosed, but likely less than $15 million, it’s highly likely this was a human capital driven deal.

StumbleUpon For Sale?

TechCrunch has heard whispers that StumbleUpon may be looking for someone to buy them for $50 million.

The deal doesn’t appear to have been widely shopped – one potential acquirer said that they met with the company recently, but only to explore possible business development deals, and that an acquisition was not discussed. I spoke briefly with StumbleUpon CEO Garret Camp this afternoon but he refused to comment, saying “we do not comment on rumors.â€? Fair enough.

I’m a big fan of StumbleUpon and I love it as a user (finding new sites) and a marketer (people finding my sites).

Reuters Buys Stake in Pluck

Reuters has announced they’ve invested $7 million in to Pluck which operates the recently formed BlogBurst distribution network for blogs.

[BlogBurst] connects newspapers and other media sites to 2,800 selected blogs, helping traditional media supplement their journalism with blog viewpoints…Reuters plans to offer Pluck’s BlogBurst blog syndication service to thousands of its media customers worldwide, the London-based company said.

Plucks decision to shutdown its RSS reader now makes a little more sense. Reuters obviously wants the company to focus on BlogBurst and the deal gives them a stake in consumer generated news.

Google Closes YouTube Deal

TechCrunch has news that Google’s closed the acquisition of YouTube. The final deal appears be worth $1.775 billion and the YouTube founders get $15 million in cash, to buy their Ferraris now.

The final price included $15 million in cash, 3,217,560 shares of Google Class A Common Stock, along with an additional 442,210 shares of restricted stock and warrants. The number of shares was determined by dividing the acquisition price, $1.65 billion, by an average value of Google stock over the last thirty days (this is a standard way of handling public company acquisitions). 12.5% of the stock is being held in escrow for one year.

Text Link Ads Acquired

TechCrunch reports TextLinkAds.com, which sells text links, has been acquired by New York advertising firm, Media Whiz.

Details of the deal have not been released.

MarketingSherpa Acquired by MarketingExperiments

MarketingVOX, reports MarketingSherpa has been acquired by MarketingExperiments, so we’re passing on the news to MarketingPilgrim readers. ;-)