While the SEO agency industry is always in turmoil, the SEO enterprise software industry keeps making big news. Brightedge, which belongs to the exclusive top 3 SEO enterprise software vendors, has done a great job getting larger clients and agencies onboard. With securing a round of $42.8 million they are becoming a strong competitor in the space, clearly aiming to be the No.1 SEO software vendor out there.
The official press release mentions a bunch of buzz words, but we have different thoughts behind the successful round of investment:
1. Brightedge might take over other “task management” related software companies. SEO reporting is cool and fun, but for users to utilize a tool with a long-term commitment a software needs to engage users. A Salesforce wouldn’t be there where it is if people just pulled numbers out of it.
2. SEO and PR are merging and the PR industry desperately needs a tool.
It’s tougher and tougher for the SEO industry to proof results. Especially for SMBs the ROI is just not there anymore and companies are better off utilizing great tools such as Upcity (former DYISEO). With the industry experts preaching content marketing as the new holy grail a lot of budget will move into that direction.
Meanwhile the PR industry is in trouble, b/c PR pitches without a good story, just don’t turn out the same way they used to turn out. In fact… most larger publications stopped linking out and mentions/citations in newspapers sound great, but the ROI, which everyone is looking for, is tough to track. Brightedge might try to fill the gap.
3. A consolidation of medium to small SEO tools is clearly happening. The market is flooded with new tools every day and the money being made in this space is just not enough, so vendors might want to cash out. Brightedge might use to take over another SEO tool in the space.
4. Another reason for this high investment might be a fight with MOZ. The MOZ guys are the thought leaders in the space. They have a huge followership, but they don’t have enterprise-worthy products. The enterprise market is still in the hands of the big 3 (Brightedge, Conductor and Searchmetrics) and MOZ going into this space might cause some headaches. The money secured will certainly help defend that.
5. Brightedge might use the money to invest further into technology. Brightedge is based in Cali, so the money could be used to higher top dev talent and build something larger than what they currently have. There are tons of great directions a SEO enterprise software could go, but we are not going to share that here.
6. International expansion.Not sure if this really makes sense, but with countries around the world going online, this could be an option. Fortune 500 are working globally and with the marketing departments often being based out of the US this could make sense.
Anyways…all of this is speculation, so, please don’t take us too serious. Do you have any other thoughts? Contact us!
[Updated April 1 2014 – grammar/typos corrected]
[Original post June 16th 2013 – saved in archive]