SEO Platform Wars: Bloomreach & BrightEdge
I just read about Yahoo's decision to end-of-life its Site Explorer product. With this move, there now no longer exists any free tool to find out all of the links pointing to any particular website (as SEL's Barry Schwartz says, Google has for many years suppressed this data). While there continue to be a number of paid tools that help websites figure out the ever-changing link structures of competitors' sites, it is nevertheless important to note Yahoo's decision, as it appears to be part of a larger trend of the major internet players laying claim to their data as a strategic asset.
As I wrote last week, Google has now stopped providing referral keyword information for organic Google search traffic from logged-in users of Gmail, G+ & other Google apps. As with the Site Explorer end-of-lifeing, SEO's are raging mad that Google's done this, as it seriously undermines their white hat efforts to use keyword search data as the basis for a better user experience.
In my 2011 SMX Advanced exhibitor analysis I noted that there were as many SEO technology vendors as SEM vendors paying for booth space this year (go Danny), and with these moves by Google & Yahoo/Bing to make SEO harder, one can only expect that enterprise SEO vendors will benefit.
Pivoting over to my favorite sales tool, BuiltWith Trends, a website technology tracking service, their data for two of the top SEO platforms, Bloomreach & BrightEdge shows Bloomreach with 160 customers, all of which are among the top 10,000 websites, and BrightEdge with 148 customers, 37 of which are top 10,000 sites. Interestingly, Bloomreach's customer base is 3/4 retail, whereas BrightEdge has the type of customer diversity one would expect of CEO & Salesforce.com alum Jim Yu.
These numbers were in the 25-50 range when I queried BuiltWith for the data 9-10 months ago , ergo enterprise SEO is getting more investment. This should continue, as it increasingly appears those who have lots of search data want to keep those who don't in the dark.