PPC – Conductor acquires Searchmetrics in big enterprise SEO merger

PPC - Conductor acquires Searchmetrics in big enterprise SEO merger

Enterprise SEO platform Conductor today announced it has acquired Searchmetrics, another enterprise SEO platform and one of its closest competitors.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. This is the second large acquisition for Conductor within the last year. On Feb. 16, 2022, Conductor acquired Content King.

I caught up with Conductor CEO and co-founder Seth Besmertnik to find out what this deal means for Conductor and its customers, as well as Searchmetrics’ customers and employees.

What it means for Conductor. One of the big draws of the Searchmetrics acquisition was its European customer base. Searchmetrics has 1,000 global customers, according to the company’s About Us page. Most of them are in Europe.

It also will expand Conductor’s European capabilities. The European “know-how” will help Conductor provide much better global support, Besmertnik said. While 90 percent of Conductor’s clients have headquarters based in the U.S., the majority of those organizations are multinational.

Besmertnik also noted that Searchmetrics has some interesting data and tech assets and strong engineering talent who will help continue to improve the Conductor platform. 

Another factor that helped drive this consolidation is the current uncertain economic climate. Besmertnik said Conductor’s customers are under a lot of pressure right now.

“They don’t want five or 10 different tools. They want less tools that do more,” Besmertnik said. “They want consolidation.”

Conductor plans to keep building and improving its “everything in one place” tool for enterprises, where all (not just some) components are really good. Besmertnik noted Conductor continues investing between $15 million and $20 million per year into research and development.

The Searchmetrics and Conductor platforms were built differently, Besmertnik said, but their objectives have always been almost identical. 

What it means for Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics, which was founded in 2005, will become a Conductor product. The plan is to combine both platforms into one unified platform in about 18 months, Besmertnik said.

Besmertnik said he’s excited to share what Conductor has with all of Searchmetrics’ customers and give them more value for the same amount of money. He said Conductor will be a partner committed to innovating and future-proofing based on their needs.

Conductor wasn’t the only, or even the best option financially for Searchmetrics to sell to, but their leadership really wanted to be part of Conductor, Besmertnik said. 

Another factor in Searchmetrics’ ultimate decision to sell? Rival enterprise SEO platform BrightEdge. 

Searchmetrics was forced to spend an enormous amount of cash on legal fees over four years battling a patent infringement lawsuit brought by BrightEdge. This, in part, contributed to slowing Searchmetrics’ growth.

Conductor plans to use Searchmetrics’ Berlin office as its European headquarters and build a tech hub there. 

ContentKing, one year later. Besmertnik said Conductor is still working on the integration with ContentKing. The company has been essentially rebuilding its product. And when Conductor rolls out the rest of the integration (sometime within the next 12 months), all within the same interface, he said customers are going to be blown away by it.

Why we care. The merging of two enterprise SEO platforms can mean great things for customers (such as access to new tools or features). However, it can also create friction – such as the learning curve to fully understand its UI and how it all works to continue driving and reporting on SEO success for your organization. Hopefully, this merger provides value to all of its paying clients.

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