SEOmoz Hands Off Consulting Biz to U.K. Firm, Doubles Down on Software and Tools

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tend to focus on bigger customers, Fishkin says.)

Fishkin says that as he went out looking to raise a Series B funding round last year, some venture capitalists passed on investing because they thought SEOmoz was more focused on consulting than selling its software and tools. “In the marketplace, we’re thought of as still being a consulting shop,” Fishkin says. “We’re trying to fight that perception.”

Meanwhile, Distilled uses the SEOmoz software platform for its consulting work with big companies—which includes online marketing, search optimization, Web design, and reputation monitoring. The company has no external investors, and has been “growing organically as quick as we can, with cash flow,” says Distilled co-founder Will Critchlow. The partnership with SEOmoz and the Seattle expansion are “quite a natural progression,” he says. “It’s a huge opportunity for us.”

Distilled plans to hire five or six people in Seattle as soon as possible. These positions will include experts in SEO, administration, and client services. The company currently has 16 employees, and in its current fiscal year (which ends in March), it is on track to make 1 million pounds in revenue.

Critchlow says Seattle makes him feel right at home. “Rand tells me it sometimes doesn’t rain, but I’ve never seen it,” he says. “I see a lot of similarity in the tech startup communities in Seattle and London. They behave in similar ways”—including entrepreneurs hanging out in pubs and bars.

Lastly, Fishkin says SEOmoz is rolling out a new version of its Open Site Explorer product, which lets people get information about link graphs on the Web. The software lets you view up to 10,000 links to any site or Web page (1,000 for free), so you can see who’s linking to you and your competitors. It’s an alternative to Yahoo Site Explorer, which is rumored to be going away in the wake of the Microsoft-Yahoo search deal.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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