Summary:

About five months after raising a $10 million fifth round, blog search tools provider Lijit Networks has been sold to blog network Federated…

Todd Vernon, CEO and founder of Lijit Networks

About five months after raising a $10 million fifth round, blog search tools provider Lijit Networks has been sold to blog network Federated Media for an undisclosed sum.

The Boulder, CO-based search tools provider will keep its name and headquarters. Lijit CEO Todd Vernon will become EVP of Technology and Lijit COO Walter Knapp will become SVP of Platform Revenue at Federated Media Publishing and will report directly to FM’s CEO, Deanna Brown.

The deal comes a year after FM has been quiet on the acquisition front, in comparison to 2010, when it bought three companies — gourmand-focused blog aggregator FoodBuzz, parenting portal BigTent and semantic search technology from TextDigger — in quick succession.

Lijit had been sharpening its focus on connecting small businesses to social media marketing. Small and medium businesses are only starting to explore online marketing in a more serious way, so the acquisition should help FM on its own expansion plans, which have centered around broadening the kind of content it offers beyond tech to include food and parenting sites.

The deal also comes as FM’s competition has grown in the past year, as companies that also claim the “social marketing” mantle have emerged, including Say Media and Halogen Media. Buying Lijit also recognizes publishers’ and advertisers’ ever-greater demands for deeper analytics and user data.

Lijit claims its set of analytics can help publishers understand their audience and figure out ways to increase time on site and grow pageviews.

In terms of actual numbers, FM says with Lijit at its side, it will now reach more than 77,000 online publishers and nearly 15,000 expert communities, something that is designed to meet advertisers’ other prequisite for higher spending: providing greater scale and reach across a range of like-minded sites.

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