Online media company Internet Brands acquired four sites in the 4th quarter for a total cost of $2.8 million.
Some acquisitions have been previously announced, but the aggregate total is new information. The company also said in its 4th quarter and yearly results release (published at PaidContent) that it had made two small acquisitions this year, and was planning on announcing a new vertical at the end of the first quarter of 2009.
The 4th quarter acquisitions mark a slow down in acquisitions for Internet Brands, with the total number for 2008 coming in at 29 sites for a total cost of $62.6 million.
General interest in Internet Brands acquiring sites isn’t particularly high (they’re always acquiring sites), but it’s the type of sites they buy that should make them interesting to web publishers.
Alexa isn’t always the best judge of a business, and the numbers here represent the figures today, not at acquisition (SellMyCars for example has improved since being acquired). However we can use them to note that none of these sites were top tier sites in terms of traffic, and indeed one was remarkably low. These are all mid-range acquisitions, but with a $2.8 million total price tag. I should add as well, most of these sites suffer in the aesthetics department as well and none were purchased for their looks.
Internet Brands is slowing down on acquisitions, but they are still buying, and that gives hope to mid-tier publishers that someone out there at least still values their sites. The chances of course of a white knight coming along and offering anyone a pile of cash for a site are slim, but the market still exists, and it exists beyond the top 100 or even top 10,000 sites online.