BrightEdge Acquires SEO Data Company In Its Largest Acquisition To Date

BrightEdge on Wednesday announced the acquisition of OnCrawl, giving the company’s clients access to sophisticated data sets and tasks across their websites.

OnCrawl users will gain BrightEdge’s advanced automation and data visualization technology to reduce manual tasks and scale search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing campaigns.

Jim Yu, CEO and co-founder of BrightEdge, said the company saw an opportunity to "make a difference in creating the first platform provider to combine data and SEO."

The company, based in Bordeaux, France, supports more than 1,000 clients through data science and SEO, with help from about 50 employees.

For now, the two companies will collaborate, but will remain independent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

François Goube, CEO and cofounder of OnCrawl, will remain to run the business. Prior to starting OnCrawl, Goube co-founded JobiJoba, a job-search engine available in more than 20 European countries and Russia. The company also has an office in Montreal, Canada.



“Data science is becoming the norm for SEO,” Yu says. “In our own platform during the past 18 months, we have generated 11 times more site-processing data.”

Humans cannot process this amount of data without being proficient in machine learning and data sciences, says Yu. Companies need data science and machine learning to support SEO. This is something OnCrawl has pioneered.

OnCrawl, BrightEdge’s third and largest acquisition, has worked with companies and agencies such as Unilever and GroupM Turkey, respectively.

SEO means having the data science to drive impact, Yu says. Key SEO tasks such as research and user intent modeling generate a great deal of data.

Most SEO professionals began their careers as marketers, not data scientists, but professionals now must pivot to have a stronger background in data science, Yu says. Marketers need that background to drive performance without having to master Python and other languages.

As website functions and the tech stack grow, the needs of SEO professionals become more advanced. As a result, the ability to obtain, analyze, and extract insights from large datasets -- particularly in enterprise companies where SEOs draw heavily on data science methods and tools to process search data in a way to drive insights -- is crucial. This can done be through statistical analysis, full API access to datasets, data-processing algorithms designed for Big Data, or the freedom to experiment through how search data is collected.

Yu says the SEO platforms of tomorrow require the capabilities of data-science infrastructure at the core of their tech stack.

“With the lack of cookies making personal data scarce, marketers need to draw inferences by dynamically segmenting and clustering information,’ he says. “If you don’t have the specific information around an individual, that’s okay. It’s about drawing meaningful conclusions from the data around groups of information. OnCrawl has pioneered the idea around dynamic segments.” 

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