No. 1726
December 4th, 2012 (and Yours Truly) Is Joining Forces with SEOmoz

Hopefully the headline says it all, but if you want the official details, please head on over and read the official release.

Needless to say, as a full-time employee of SEOmoz, I won’t be taking on client work for the foreseeable future :).  Going forward, I’ll be blogging almost exclusively on the SEOmoz blog, so if you’re not subscribed yet, please head on over and sign up now.

If you are curious what the acquisition means for GetListed–and Local U–my post on the GetListed blog is the place to learn more about that.

This IS still my blog, though, so today I’d like to take a little bit more of a personal tack with this post.

#1 Basically, I’d like to tell you all HOW EXCITED I am to be joining the incredible team at SEOmoz.

I’ve been a huge fan of the SEOmoz brand and their product set since I first started professionally in SEO way back in about 2005.  Rand gave one of the first presentations–at SES San Jose 2007–I was ever impressed by, but awed as I was at the time by his SEO acumen and charisma, I’ve been even more impressed with his ability to build a team since then (sorry, Rand :D).  Teambuilding is something I’ve never had the desire (let alone skill) to try to take on, and Rand has had incredible success hiring talent.  I am lucky to call several current AND former Mozzers personal friends (Sarah, Joanna, Jen, Dr. Pete, Rebecca, Matt, Jane, and Jeff among many others) and having met only a handful of the current crew, I know I will have many new friends in this bunch.  I am thrilled to have a team behind me and alongside me that can help execute on many more product ideas than we’ve been able to do at GetListed so far.

I also feel great about joining up with SEOmoz because everything GetListed has been about–giving away a ton of knowledge and as much great functionality as we could–is totally the SEOmoz ethos as well.  The difference is, SEOmoz has the backend technical expertise AND front-end design savvy that I just don’t, and that GetListed was just not able to scale to.  It is awesome to have this firepower behind our site, our product, and our Local Search community.  The overlap between organic, social, and local has never been closer, and it’s only going to continue in that direction. It’s phenomenal to have a ready-made team in place that has already has some great tools that address those first two areas.

I don’t want to leave out SEOmoz’s amazing Help Team.  Many of you have commented to me this year about how stretched at both ends I’ve seemed.  Frankly, I’ve been overwhelmed with everything on my plate (including getting the pieces in place for this transition).  To those of you who have sent me an unreturned email, tweet, or voice mail (OK, if you left me a voice mail, what’s wrong with you? :D), I sincerely apologize…but the knowledge and speed of SEOmoz’s help team is going to help me scale my knowledge to the community so much better than I’ve ever been able to.  I might even be have time now to write a few blog posts answering the most common questions I get!

#2 I want to tell ALL of you how incredibly thankful I am to be a part of this community.

There are SO many people I want to thank.  So, like Meryl Streep at the Oscars, I am just going to thank as many people as I want to, no matter how long this post gets.

With GetListed, the only goal was to build a tool that would let business owners know about the free Local Business Centers offered by the search engines and make it easier for them to get their various search listings claimed.  We didn’t think about business model, business plan, marketing plan, exit strategy, etc., etc., beyond asking for feedback and just asking our friends to help us spread the word at launch.

This industry has been incredible at doing just that, and far beyond our launch.  Thanks to the word-of-mouth from all of you, an SEO tool has been wildly successful independent of search traffic from Google.

Yup. That’s right.

Our Analytics account looks like no client I’ve ever worked with–from the very beginning, less than 5% of our traffic (at least un-(notprovided) traffic) has come from unbranded, “discovery” Google searches.  We’ve roughly doubled our traffic year-over-year, and since the start of 2012, we’ve been averaging about 100,000 business lookups per month on our U.S. site alone.

Thanks to you guys, we’ve helped over 2,000,000 American businesses over the last three-and-a-half years improve their Local Search presence.

That wouldn’t have been possible without our partners and contacts at the search engines and data aggregators as well–so, thanks to our friends at all of the listing providers in our tool.  Hopefully we’ve helped correct data and provide better user experiences for your audience, and maybe given you a few new small business customers along the way.

There are some specific industry friends I want to thank.  First and foremost, the core Local U faculty.  You guys have become a second family–heck, I see you about as often as my parents, anyway.  Thanks for all of your support over the last three years (and long before that):

Mike Blumenthal
Mary Bowling
Matt McGee
Ed Reese
Will Scott
Aaron Weiche
Mike Ramsey

Looking forward to moving on to the next phase with you guys.

Second, all of my clients over the years.  Literally, without working with all of you, I’d never have been able to develop my knowledge of Local Search, let alone foot the bill for the development and ongoing maintenance of GetListed.

Third, my friends I’ve met over the years across the search landscape & at SEMpdx.  In addition to the people I’ve already mentioned above, especially:

Adam Audette
Marshall Simmonds
Susan Sipe
Todd Mintz
Scott Hendison
Ben Lloyd
Hallie Janssen
Matthew Brown
Tim Resnik
Josh Patrice
Wil Reynolds
Alan George
Anita Campbell
Todd Friesen
Todd Malicoat
Mark Knowles
Michael Jensen
Michael Cottam
Lisa Myers
Richard Baxter
Will Critchlow
Lisa Barone
Tamar Weinberg
John Denny
Chris Winfield
Arjan Snaterse
Rocky Agarwal
Sebastien Provencher
Peter Krasilovsky
Mike Boland
Greg Sterling
Andrew Shotland
Mat Siltala
Matt Marko
Joel Headley
Jen Chin
Mikko Ollila
Chris Silver Smith
Don Campbell
Miriam Ellis
Jon Colman
Darren Shaw
Dave Oremland
Gib Olander
Troy Peterson
James Svoboda
Conrad Saam
Martijn Beijk
Steve Espinosa
Ian Lurie

I especially want to thank a very small group of people that I don’t think I’ve ever thanked publicly before.  Back when I was *just* getting started in SEO–I mean I was a complete nobody–at some point in fall 2006 in the East Bay, I somehow got invited to a small, informal meetup of very established search professionals at Medjool over in San Francisco.  I think it was Bob Charlton who first put me on the list.  Although I may be off on one or two of these names, I think the complete list of attendees was:

Bob Charlton
Scott Smith
Greg Hartnett
Roger Montti
Laura Lippay
Lawrence Coburn
Natasha Robinson
Tony Adam
Ethan Hays

You guys were all SO welcoming to a guy who clearly was not anywhere close to the orbit of your various careers.  At the time, I wasn’t even really sure this going to be my permanent career.  But the camaraderie and the incredibly warm vibe that I got from all of you that night assured me this was definitely the industry I wanted to be in.  Just wanted you guys to know what a special night that was for me, especially as I am celebrating today.

I’m certain I’ve left some very important people off of these lists, and I reserve the right to update this post after publishing!