Jo Turnbull is traveling through Europe this month. The same month as in which Euro 2012 takes place. Jo therefore decided to go and watch the games with local SEO’s and meanwhile talk to them about search. About the differences within Europe, but also about the recent developments in search. Find below the interview she did with Marcus Tober of Searchmetrics.
I was fortunate to meet Marcus Tober while I was in Berlin last week. I went to the Searchmetrics head office as I wanted to find out what search was like in Berlin. I asked Marcus a few questions:
How long have you been in search for?
In 2001, I started working for a small agency in Berlin where I developed sites as a PHP developer and I also had to optimise the sites I built. Later, while I was studying computer science, I worked at idealo.de in SEO. I started Searchmetrics in 2005 and in 2007, a venture capital company invested in the company where we together rebranded and renamed the organisation. Now we have a team of about 100 people which is great.
Have you been affected by Penguin and Panda update?
Our clients have not been affected. After such updates we see strong correlations on different types of sites like price comparison sites after Panda last year. Not all sites were affected, sites with a higer quality and “better” user signals can still rank extremely well, like Idealo.de and Billiger.de as they have more branded terms for their anchor text and a better brand.
Do you attend any search events in Germany?
I go to SMX Munich, there is also an SEO day in Cologne and SES Berlin. I just spoke at Webinale on June 5th and June 6th in Berlin. The German market is a strong market like the US and UK market and it is important to be present at search events not just in Germany but also round the world. We’re at the SMX in Paris next week and I’m also speaker on SMX New York, Pubcon Las Vegas, SEOkomm Salzburg etc.
What are the different SEO products you offer to your clients and why?
We built the largest database in combined SEO and Social data. In SEO we have more than 100 million keywords which we update regularly to calculate rankings, trends and a lot competitive data. This research capability is unique and we offer that in all the most important countries worldwide. Then we have an enterprise solution for larger clients where you can connect external data like web analytics (traffic, conversions) with your SEO data. You see recommendations for your site because we crawl your site automatically. So in the end you can use our research software (Searchmetrics Essentials) for deep SEO and Social signals analysis or the enterprise solution with user management, keyword management, site optimization, traffic integration and automated reporting engine.
Who are your clients?
We have three different clients:
1) Large Enterprise companies which have worldwide teams, (like GM or SIEMENS2) Small to Large Agencies
3) In house SEO teams
4) SEO specialists
We offer the Searchmetrics Essentials for the small SEOs and the specialists. They use this tool to analyse potential sites for link building. The prices starts at just is $99 USD which is very competitive. We offer the Searchmetrics Suite to the larger companies and in the marketing/seo agencies which they use to manage their clients and larger campaigns.
On June 29th we will be releasing a new Searchmetrics Suite based on a new architecture and new features.
How has Google affected your business?
It has shown SEO is more important to organisations and we have increased the number of partners working with us. SEO is becoming more complex and organisations want to understand this. The companies need Searchmetrics to measure their conversions, carry out audits on site and help them with the online reports.
How important is search in Germany?
Search is very important in Germany, but it really depends on the company. The small to medium sized businesses depend on Google organic traffic and therefore optimise their sites for this. Some of the bigger sites such as Mediamarkt (which is similar to BestBuy in the US) operate a local franchise system where they offer different prices for goods depending on the customer’s local area. In this case, search does not work in their favour as they have too many products with different prices which they cannot sell online.
What do you think is the future of search in Germany? and SEO in particular?
Search will evolve faster than you can imagine. Search engines will always deliver the best results possible which is why SEOs have to evolve as well. They need a good understanding of the user’s needs, usability, social and web analytics to create the best
SEO strategy. Technical SEO optimisation is history, now we have SEO focused on the user or “user focused SEO”.
Marcus’ team will be at SMX Paris on Tuesday and Wednesday the 12th and 13th of June, come to the stand and say hello. Marcus will also be at SMX New York and Pubcon Las Vegas as speaker.