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Since we know that Google is on the pace to acquire multiple companies a week, I thought I would take an educated stab at who is next. In the major category, we had DoubleClick last week, this week it's FeedBurner. So here is my prediction for the next company to be scooped up by the Internet's ATM machine, Google.
Google wants to
control offer access to the world's data. Experian controls data about basically every single human being in the U.S. and in a good majority of the countries around the world. Years ago Experian attempted to sell me on using their service to expand my customer database to obtain more profile information about my customers. Imagine Google being able to tie credit data into what ads are shown? Bad credit, see a refinance your car ad vs. the buy the new Benz ad. High income… show an ad of that resort home in the Swiss Alps.
Now some will bitch and moan that tying that information together is bad and evil. But it's just additional data points to the ones Google already knows about you. And believe me, I am still the first one in the "Google owns too much data" line, but this acquisition would just make sense.
Even if we forget the credit data that Experian holds, they still have thousands of data points that could easily benefit Google and its advertisers.
Part II of acquisition – Hitwise
So you heard it here first, once the advertising firm acquisition spree ends, the analytics firm acquisition spree will begin. Advertisers want data about their campaigns but also about where they should be advertising.
Hitwise was acquired by Experian last month making the Experian acquisition that much sweeter. Hitwise is the best in this category. Their data is the most believable compared to companies like Alexa and they offer rich, robust reports. I am a bit of a stats/analytics nut, and so far only Hitwise can satisfy my cravings. After working with them for about 2 years, I know they have a great set of analytic minds on staff and the Hitwise suite of products would complement Google Analytics very well. In addition this would again bring Google closer to their goal of gaining access to all of the information available.
Imagine being able to go into Adwords and select sites that you want to advertise on and then hopping over to Hitwise (or integrated) to view how that site looks, traffic, in/out links, etc. Hot. Super hot.
So — am I offbase? Hit me up in the comments…