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BrightEdge, a search engine optimization management (SEO) platform, said today it has become the first such platform to become fully social in a bid to help marketers optimize their social media activity, Jim Yu, founder and chief executive, told VentureBeat.

San Mateo, Calif.-based BrightEdge uses tools to help companies increase their prominence on search engines like Google.

The company said it is now integrating social media signals into its platform, giving marketers valuable insights that allow them to optimize their social media activity for SEO return on investment.

As such, BrightEdge will also analyze the content of Tweets and Facebook “likes” and “shares” to pinpoint the exact areas in social media that will boost SEO, and offer specific recommendations to increase activity in these places.

“Search is the starting point for the vast majority of transactions on the Internet,” said Yu. “With the top search result on Google receiving up to 10 times the clicks of the top pay per click ad, it’s critical for marketers to manage SEO and break their brands through increasing clutter on the Web.”

The money at stake is huge. The SEO market opportunity in the U.S. is greater than $40 billion, three to four times larger than paid search which, according to independent technology and market research company Forrester, was close to a $13 billion market in 2009.

Studies have shown that for every click on a paid ad, there are three clicks on natural search results. BrightEdge is now capitalizing on those metrics more cohesively, said Yu.

“This means that [our] social media teams, which have been siloed off from SEO and focused on generating conversations and sentiment, now have a huge opportunity to influence SEO, improve search rankings, and increase revenue coming from organic search,” he added.

The company uses a scalable infrastructure of crawlers that follows the latest “politeness” rules to deal with the challenge of frequent scans on a large number of keywords, pages, backlinks, and sites.

Its closest competitors are customized in-house solutions and similar SEO companies Covario and ConductorSearchLight.

BrightEdge has been growing at a rapid pace. In the last few months, the company says it became the first SEO platform with global capabilities; was joined by the former chief architect of Baidu to consult on international platform expansion; and introduced BrandSafe Link Audit to expose disreputable SEO techniques to brand marketers before they end up in the headlines.

Founded in 2007, BrightEdge has so far raised $8.5 million from Battery VenturesAltos Ventures, and Illuminate Ventures.


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