People love doom and gloom, and this is perhaps why so many blog posts and articles this year have pronounced the end of SEO at some point or another. It seems to be all the rage to point out how SEO is somehow no longer reliable or valid, or to whine about how Google is purposefully destabilizing the industry.
In fact, an article on this very site (Do You Believe in These 10 SEO Myths?) recognized the ‘SEO is Dead’ myth as being the #1 rumor around town—and my own reading has more than backed this up. As the author of that article points out though, industry analysts have said this many times before (usually around the same time a new algorithm change is rolled out) and will probably continue to say it for years to come, too.
But in case you’re still worried that SEO is ‘no more’ (perhaps the Mayan’s calendar referred to the end of SEO rather than mankind?), here’s a bit of good news to help put your mind at rest … Read on and you’ll see why I’m confident that SEO has never been stronger.
SEO Companies Raised Over $100 Million in Funding During 2012
While some of the people who work in the SEO industry might have lost faith in the very service they provide, it seems that investors and big businesses haven’t—at least if the impressive amount of funding that SEO companies have managed to raise over this past year is anything to go by. Oh you want some examples? Read on…
Let’s start with the 500 Startups company Ginzametrics which runs an SEO management/analytics platform for enterprises and has raised $1.7 million in seed funding from a number of sources including YC, 500 Startups, Venture51 and various angel investors.
Then there’s BrightEdge, a startup offering similar tools that raised $12.6 million during a round of Series C funding with investments coming from Intel Capital as well as Battery Ventures, Altos Ventures, and more. Conductor, too, again offering a range of tools for measuring SEO ROI and search market share, raised $10 million earlier in 2009, followed by an impressive $20 million during their Series C funding from such backers as Investor Growth Capital, FirstMark Capital, and Matrix Partners.
In other news, SEOmoz in fact even managed to raise $18 million in venture capital this year despite failed attempts at funding during 2009 and 2011, suggesting if anything that things are hotting up rather than cooling down. Not enough for you? Then perhaps the $35 million that Hubspot raised last year from Atlimeter Capital and others will be enough to convince you that SEO isn’t facing any crisis (in fact since 2006 Hubspot managed to raise $100 million on its own).
Meanwhile, although the announcement slightly missed the 2012 cut off point, InfusionSoft (who provide email marketing, e-commerce and social marketing, as well as SEO) made it public on the 7th January of this year that they managed to raise a whopping $54 million in in growth capital funding lead by Goldman Sachs.
Of course, it’s fair to say that this is probably really only the tip of the ice berg. I could go on forever listing success stories…
More Good News
In other good news, according to the 2012 Tech 200—a list compiled by Lead411 to show the startups in technology with the highest revenue percentage growth between 2009-2011—SEO companies were some of the most successful in the industry over that time frame. Included on the list of the most profitable tech companies for that time frame were Marketo, SEOMoz, InfusionSoft, Yodle, and Hubspot.
What All This Means
In other words then, although many bloggers would have you believe that SEO is going through some kind of midlife crisis, the numbers just don’t back up the claim. In fact, looking at the figures the industry is in pretty darn good shape, and even if some ‘SEO Gurus’ are worried about it it looks like the big investors and companies aren’t in the slightest. If these big venture capital firms, angel investors and companies are willing to invest such huge amounts into SEO then I’m willing to bet on it too.
In fact, if anything could threaten the position of the SEO as an industry then it’s probably that very hysteria. Any industry can be considered as a microcosm for an economy and if history has taught us anything it’s that a crisis of confidence is not good for financial stability.
So in other words, stop worrying, stop heralding the apocalypse, and start celebrating. SEO is alive and well. Here’s to another great year!