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Conductor Raises $20M Series C To Improve Customers’ Search Rankings, Outlines Ambitions Beyond SEO

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SEO company Conductor has just raised a $20 million Series C. The round was led by Investor Growth Capital, with participation from previous investors FirstMark Capital and Matrix Partners.

Conductor’s Searchlight product helps companies understand where they sit in relevant search results, where their competitors sit, and how they can improve their rankings. Customers include FedEx, BestBuy, Siemens, and General Electric. CEO Seth Besmertnik said revenue has grown 300 percent in the last year.

And Besmertnik argued that the growth is only going to continue, because the SEO industry continues to expand. For example, he pointed to Conductor’s recent research showing that on LinkedIn, the number of people who had “SEO” written in their title or description has more than doubled year-over-year, from 250,000 to 530,000. And SEO job listings on Indeed.com have increased 1900 percent since 2006.

“Well, I think it’s logic,” Besmertnik replied when asked why an industry that might not be regarded as particularly cutting edge continues to grow rapidly. Marketers are looking at the data around search advertising and finding that it’s pretty expensive, he said, and they’re looking at social advertising and finding that it doesn’t drive as much traffic as search. “When they look at SEO, they’re seeing that they’re getting traction and have a lot of opportunities to expand.”

He added that although there’s still plenty of room for Conductor to grow within the SEO industry, it’s also looking at other markets: “We want to be able to help marketers optimize their visibility for all digital assets in all places where people search on a global basis.” After all, Besmertnik said that there are “lots of boxes on the Web” beyond the search box, where companies’ videos, images, and website content are being accessed, and which could benefit from being optimized in SEO-like fashion.

“What we do is, we crawl the web, we crawl any kind of digital asset,” he said. “It just so happens that we crawl a search engine, but it applies to anything we want to apply it to.”

Conductor has now raised a total of $32.6 million in funding. Back in March, Besmertnik said the company was seeing an annual revenue run rate of $10 million.