Edit: Rand was nice enough to respond and explain a few things… his comment – “No plans to build a public search engine, though we’ll likely keep developing the back end elements and perhaps someday even have a sandbox where one can see how our algorithms/metrics compare to the engines (definitely a few years or more away).”
Rand Fishkin and the team over at seomoz have been on a tear with their SEO tools over the last half decade. They have slowly and steadily become the premiere source for SEO news and resources. The have also been working on a top secret project under the domain moz.com. What are they going to do with this amazingly short and precise URL?
Could a Search Engine Be In The Works?
The seomoz toolset already provides some of the most accurate resources for gauging online content. The team has continued to roll-out and update their technologies to provide a precise view of how websites are ranking or should be ranked by the current major search engines. More importantly, MozRank is the generally accepted alternative to googles PageRank algorithm.
Other key developments in 2012 are showing a much more aggressive push from the team in Seattle. The company reported over 58 billion urls indexed in january of this year. This amount of indexation is useful for the SEO products they’re marketing, but with an index of that size, there are obviously additional avenues they can monetize.
Additionally, SEOmoz is going to begin tackling webspam with a very “ambitious project”. If Rand and his team can get a good understanding of how webspam is being handled by Google and Bing, not only can he provide a better service for his clients, but he can also incorporate those tools into his index and potentially create viable alternative to the primary engines currently available.
Lastly, Moz just received $18 million in venture capital. This capital is a welcome lift to the already profitable organization. They have made it clear here that the capital will allow them to be more aggressive in terms of growth, both organic and through acquisitions. They also discuss growing the index about 3x to 150b and also “Launch one very big, exciting new project we’ve been building since last year, hopefully in October or November of 2012, but possibly early 2013.”
I am not sure if they are actually building an engine, but it definitely wouldn’t hurt. Faith in google is at an all time low and startup engines like duckduckgo are experiencing nearly vertical growth… literally . There may finally be room for another niche engine. especially one with an already loyal user base. And if this engine is willing to disclose a little piece of their magic algorithm, everyone may be a winner.
SEOmoz always preaches whitehat, best practices, are the key to online success. I think they may be creating an engine that can prove it.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves… Bing has proven that creating a new search engine can be very difficult… and very costly..
What do you think moz.com is?
moz.com – a new search engine from Rand and the team at seomoz? | Inbound.org
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I think you might be barking up the wrong tree here; although, admittedly it’s a very interesting tree you’ve chosen!
I’m expecting that the $18m round will be spent on acquisitions to beef up their product offering. It’s been a long time between significant iterations of improvement in the SEOmoz toolset, and a lot has changed in the industry that time.
A sure bet for me is their acquiring AHrefs.com, which is an extremely advanced competitor to Moz’s Open Site Explorer. They might also be sniffing around serpIQ for its competitor analysis features (which are again, better than what SEOmoz currently offers in that regard) and possibly even an agency-level workflow and management set like Swydo.
Personally, I think the move toward Moz.com is mostly connected to rebranding away from an old identity, as the idea of SEO becomes less “fashionable”. When they started, SEO was a large and growing field but as the industry has matured, there’s a need to incorporate multiple channels like social, email, and pay per click.
Their founder’s experiment with inbound.org last year showed that there’s an appreciation of the need to be a broader offering than anything can be with “SEO” in its name. Competing toolsets like Raven have developed quickly and strongly to incorporate social and other marketing under one umbrella, and I think this has put SEOmoz on the back foot. There is a more pressing need to innovate than to build a search engine that’s based on a very clunky and outdated index!
you’re totally right about a lot of that. I addressed some of it mildly with the ability to acquire other companies. I also 100% agree on his experiment with the shift from SEO to inbound marketing. Candidly, this post is primarily an experiment on provocative titles with decent content. I plan on providing details of this experiment in the near future, but it is a very successful test.
also, it would be cool if they did it 🙂
No plans to build a public search engine, though we’ll likely keep developing the back end elements and perhaps someday even have a sandbox where one can see how our algorithms/metrics compare to the engines (definitely a few years or more away).
Awesome man! Apologies if I needlessly stirred the pot! Keep pumping out the tools (both with seomoz and inbound.org) Definitely the best resources available. Your tools have given myself and many like me the ability to provide for our families.
Thrilled to hear it! And no worries at all dude 🙂
Rand’s comment should end this topic.
I don’t think moz.com is search engine. It’s rebranding. My theory is that they havent rebranded yet is because they have a trademark for Moz pending..