There aren’t many stocks hotter than Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) right now, but Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) isn’t conceding anything in the heated battle between the online booksellers. On Thursday, Go2Net, Inc. (Nasdaq: GNET) announced that it has signed an agreement to make Barnes and Noble the exclusive book retailer on the Go2Net network.
The Go2Net network was the 24th-most visited Web property in January with more than 1 million daily visitors, according to Media Metrix, while Barnesandnoble.com was the fourth most popular e-commerce site. The Go2Net network includes the Metacrawler search engine, and the influential Silicon Investor financial site.
What might be most beneficial for Barnes & Noble, however, is Go2Net’s free small business Web hosting service, Hypermart, which currently has more than 150,000 members and is growing at a robust pace of more than 500 members a day.
Hypermart members will be able to sign up to be a Barnes & Noble affiliate through Hypermart, and then receive commissions for books sold through their site. Affiliate programs are crucial for any online retailer, and this is a solid way for Barnes & Noble to raise awareness of its program.
“We believe there are terrific synergies between what Barnesandnoble.com offers and what users of the Go2Net Network have come to expect,” Carl Rosendorf, senior vice president of Barnesandnoble.com said in a statement.
Overshadowed by Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble adds Go2Net to a list of impressive partners including America Online (NYSE: AOL), the New York Times and USA Today.
Unfortunately for Barnes & Noble, Wall Street seemed to be paying a lot more attention to Amazon.com’s deal with Drugstore.com on Thursday. Barnes & Noble stock was down 1-1/4 to 28-3/4 on Thursday, while Amazon.com soared 14-1/16 to 125. Go2Net, however, had a significant climb, rising 2-5/8 to 56-1/8.
Barnes & Noble warned of disappointing earnings and slower growth on Wednesday, and the stock has dropped three straight days, for a total of seven points. With an initial public offering of barnesandnoble.com a possibility later in this year, this could be a buying opportunity.