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Elevating your site a RankAbove
BY KARIN KLOOSTERMAN/ISRAEL 21C, SPECIAL TO THE JE
02/19/2010
Using artificial intelligence, an Israeli start-up will analyze your blog or Web site and tell you how to optimize it to meet your goals.
If you work online as an editor or content manager these days, you may find yourself wondering whether you’re writing for other people or for the bots inside the Internet. The answer gets fuzzier and the lines blur as corporate assets, news items or your blog grow year by year. Some sites comprise millions of pages.

There are numerous tips and tricks that every writer and content manager can use to make sure that Google and other search engines “see” their content, services and products. However, at some point the content invariably becomes unmanageable and probably doesn’t receive the traction that it should.

That’s where Israeli start-up RankAbove comes in. Founded in 2007, the company has developed a platform called Drive that helps Web sites manage content ranging from 1,000 to millions of pages.

Drive uses predictive modeling and artificial intelligence to advise you on how small changes to your site will affect your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It can also take a look at your competitors’ sites to see how you compare.

The young crew of 12 based in Jerusalem not only created an idea but also turned it into a product and service “to bootstrap ourselves,” says RankAbove founder and CEO Mayer Reich, 31, who moved to Israel from New York City in 2003.

Seeking an investment of $2 million, RankAbove is already working with major companies such as Target, AOL, 1-800-Flowers and Yahoo, which are all testing its software. “They contacted us,” says Reich.

“We mostly work with big companies but also work with smaller companies from time to time. Large Web sites usually have a hard time, whether it’s from an IT site, from how developed the site is or the amount of new pages to be managed and optimized,” says Reich, referring to a study conducted recently by Sempo, a search engine marketing firm that came to a shocking conclusion: A full 100 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have a failing grade in search engine optimization.

The reason for this is that people and companies are creating content faster than they ever had to in the past. They have to focus on marketing initiatives, Reich explains, adding that most Web sites still have a hard time driving traffic back to their sites.

“They might be driving traffic to [the site] from all sorts of marketing methods, but they have limited scope and knowledge of SEO; and more often than not, they don’t know how to bring an ROI to the Web site,” says Reich.

RankAbove, which has two main competitors in the field – New-York based Conductor and San Diego company Covario – dives deep into the site, licensing its technology with fees starting at about $1,000 per site.

“We would license the technology – technology for an SEO team or agency – that might be doing SEO for a company,” says Reich. It takes only about 30 seconds for the integration to take effect.

RankAbove’s staff ensures that companies are not wasting money on creating or promoting content. The company digs through a Web site by page, as well as by category. It can also integrate third-party analytics platforms to see where revenues are coming in or leaking out.

“Our solution is the only scalable, quick to implement solution. It takes just a few minutes to get up and running,” claims Reich. “We have also created the only solution in the market that can handle a 100-page Web site or a 30 million-page site.”

Since every hit counts, RankAbove helps companies prioritize where to spend money to make their Web site work well with search engines so their site will make it onto the first page of Google. It provides companies with a very specific breakdown by examining site names and pointing out duplications. It also analyzes which keywords work best and where more should be placed.

“It could tell you where to place the words and on what pages to find the most appropriate place for these keywords and how to build your Web site – to make sure it’s prominent,” says Reich, who points out that there are about 65 elements that need to be optimized on each page of content, which is well beyond the scope of what any content manager could handle.

Today, RankAbove is advising companies about where problematic areas lie and how their SEO can be improved. Over the next 12 months, the company plans to integrate automatic uploads into its system so that titles, keywords, tags and as many SEO details as possible can be added automatically. – www.israel21c.org
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