Are you ready for a revolution? Today, after 3 years of machine learning development in stealth, BloomReach reveals its big data solution for website relevance optimization. BloomReach is capable of boosting organic search traffic by a whopping 80%, and will flip the search engine optimization and marketing industries upside down.
With a huge problem, a team of industry rockstars backed by $16 million from Bain Capital Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, and the patented technology capable of executing, BloomReach could become the first $10 billion enterprise marketing company, joining other core solutions like Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce. SEO is dead, long live big data SEO.
BloomReach’s cloud marketing platform attacks the lack of search result presence that plagues the content and products filling up the subpages of most big websites. Despite advertising, potential customers can’t find what they want or are dumped on generic, low-relevance, high-bounce rate pages. Sites could make so much more money if the could just connect what they’re already selling with the people who already want it.
Here’s how BloomReach’s core product BloomSearch fixes this. First, it crawls billions of web pages per day and analyzes your site’s user behavior, including browsing, buying, and searching activity. A semantic interpreter teases out the underlying purpose of your content by referencing it against 10 billion synonym pairs and 1 billion phrases. Content is then compared with what potential visitors are searching for on the web. Your website’s structure and content are then optimized to supply what users demand, and exposed to crawlers to score you a big increase in organic search discoverability.
For example, BloomSearch could determine that an ecommerce store sells “garden shears” but potential customers are searching for “garden scissors”. It would then add metadata and aggregated content from across your site to the “garden shears” page to make both vistors and search engine crawlers see it as relevant for “garden scissors” searches. BloomReach says it can give sites a whopping 80% increase in traffic, far beyond what most A/B testing systems or SEO consultants can provide.
The other two products BloomReach launches today maximize conversions from search advertising and social curation. BloomLift dynamically cobbles together landing pages for ads so visitors see exactly what they were hoping to buy or consume. The product can make the CPC-wasting 55% bounce rate of the average ad landing page a thing of the past.
Say you buy search keyword ads for “red sweater”. If someone searching for “red v-neck sweater” is shown your ad and clicks through, BloomReach generates a landing page of the products most relevant to their original search. It might show red scoop-neck sweaters and brown v-neck sweaters rather than just standard red sweaters. In a pilot program for an education company, BloomLift delivered 15% more conversions and a 50% increase in advertising profits.
BloomSocial crowdsources themed product pages by analyzing browsing patterns and surfacing clusters of related products. It could determine all the products people browse when they’re planning a picnic, and create special “picnic”-themed page. Visitors can then socially follow, comment on, and share products and opt to be notified of new deals.
In Fall 2008, Raj De Datta, a former Director of Product Marketing at Cisco and Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Mohr-Davidow Ventures met with Bain Capital Ventures about the idea to replace SEO. Bain Capital Ventures and angels including Chris Dixon gave Raj a $5 million Series A in February 2009 to recruit a team of geniuses capable of tackling the serious big data technology problem.
De Datta convinced world expert on machine learning Ashutosh Garg, formerly a Chief Scientist for Google who was working on his own search engine, to become CTO. Garg now has 50 approved and pending patents in online advertising, search, machine learning and bio-informatics. An $11 million series B round was secured from Bain Capital Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners in September 2010. It’s gone towards building out the product and bringing the Mountain View-based BloomReach’s employee count to 60 with talent poached from Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Bing.
The biggest threat to BloomReach will be the need to adapt to new traffic sources beyond current search, ads, and social, as well as avoiding demotion from Google PageRank. However, Palo Alto Managing Director Ajay Agarwal of investor Bain Capital Ventures tells me “judging by time and effort spent building the team and product, it would be very difficult to compete with BloomReach, plus it’s built intellectual property to protect what it’s invented.”
Over the last year, 70 big brands including Orbitz, Crate&Barrel, and Oodle Marketplace have been testing BloomReach in verticals such as ecommerce, travel, and listings (jobs, cars, real estate). While in stealth the service was already generating 52 million additional page views and 25 million extra visits to client sites per quarter. It expects to generate $145 million in incremental revenue for clients in 2012.
Luckily, those clients only pay if their site performance improves, making it a sure-fire return on investment for enterprises. Because spend so directly leads to results, big data optimization could pull spend away from every other marketing channel, especially offline advertising where impact is almost impossible to measure.
BloomReach is the single most disruptive enterprise technology I’ve seen in years. CEO and co-founder Raj De Datta breaks down the company’s value proposition like this: “There is a stream of demand that will generate money for you, would you like to tap in?” Yes, enterprise will. So don’t be surprised when the acquisition bids flood in, SEO gurus get the axe, and you start actually finding what you search for.