The internet is growing each second, and standing out from the crowd is becoming more and more difficult as well as crucial. So, if you are a new business and are still struggling to make ground as far as search results are concerned, then SearchEnabler will come to your rescue. SearchEnabler is an all-in-one SEO solution developed by Quicko Labs based in Bangalore, India. This SaaS (Software as a Service) product is aimed at startups, small businesses and individuals who are looking to improve their visibility.
We spoke to Mr. Khadim Batti, Founder of Quicko Labs to understand more about SearchEnabler.
When did Quicko Labs come into existence and why did you choose to develop a solution for SEO when there were already many players out there?
We started QuickoLabs in Jun 2010. When we came out of our last job from Huawei Telecom, we wanted to start-up, but like many others we were also not sure as to what. So, initially, we spent the first couple of months brain-storming different concepts and finally zeroed down on SearchEnabler.
As far as entering the SEO domain is concerned, one trend was very obvious, every business was making their presence online and smartphone boom was taking internet to next level. We noticed a few things:
1. With every passing day, the gap was bridging between offline & online media.
2. More than 90 billion searches were conducted every month.
3. 9 out of 10 individuals were carrying out research online before making purchase decision. And finally,
4. Most of the small business were lacking search visibility.
We knew, online marketing via SEO can be a major catalyst in the growth of small businesses. When we explored further, we found that organic search results were driving more than 80% of traffic, but they commanded only 15-20% of investment in terms of SEO. Therefore, we entered this market as we believed that some solution was needed for small businesses.
As far as competition is concerned, they were mostly catering to enterprises, agencies,etc. and hardly anyone was catering to small businesses. This is where we focused.
As you started SearchEnabler, what were the key focus points which you wanted to keep in mind as far as this product is concerned?
There were three things we decided to focus on so as to ensure we reach our audience:
1. Make SEO easy to interpret & implement by anyone.
2. Make it measurable, so user’s can know what is working and what is not working.
3. Keep it affordable to ensure business use for long term and derive maximum benefit.
So, basically our mantra was to make SEO easy, affordable & measurable.
I have used many SEO products and most of them tell you what is wrong but do not tell you how to fix it. Do you specifically provide recommendations on how things can be fixed? Or do you mostly point out the errors and leave the rest to the user?
Our aim is to provide actionable recommendation with tips for implementation. We started with analyzing and identifying errors in SEO and accordingly gave recommendations. Now, we have a lot of recommendations as well implementation tips through help articles, but we still feel we have long way to go.
We know that you have set up your own servers here, all assembled by your team. Can you tell me what led to this decision?
In order to provide an efficient SEO analysis, a lot of things have to be taken into account. It is extremely necessary to crawl the entire website regularly. Not just that, we also have to crawl backlinks, collect data from many other sources like analytics, page ranks, etc.So, what I meant is that, these processes get very resourceful and since our major objective is to make the service affordable, we researched and found that setting up our own infrastructure would help us in the long run in keeping our costs low. This wold also provide us a proper base to build on in future.
Lets talk numbers now. What is the basic specification of your servers? How many nodes are you running?
We have 2 servers which run Webservice, Namenodes and DNS. Then we have 9 nodes for Hadoop & Cassandra (for distriubted storage & computing). Each node is built using Intel Core i3 processors, 3 TB harddisk & 16 GB RAM. Every node is managed via Puppet for provisioning & for monitoring we use Nagios + Munin.
We are using TV screen for live feed of status. We also configured one old phone to push us messages in event of breakdown. So, we have tried to automate as much as possible to reduce human intervention.
What about the software part of it? Crawling will create huge amounts of data. How are you managing that?
We are using Hadoop HDFS and Cassandra for distributed storage across nodes. Our storage capacity now is more 18 TB. Raw crawled files are stored in HDFS and after analysis data is stored in Cassandra. For meta data we have caching layer to speed up the response.
Can you give me some more numbers about the amount of data you have crawled till date, how many web pages, etc. ?
As of today we have 8 Tera Bytes of structured & unstructured data in our system, 0.7 Billion unique URLs. So far we have analyzed 35 Million webpages. In terms of data processing, daily more than 250 GB of data gets processed.
Social media is playing a really important role in creating online presence for businesses. How is SearchEnabler helping in terms or social media recommendations?
We are looking at social media in 2 ways:
1. Social media as driver for referral traffic.
2. Social media as signals for improving search visibility.
Search engines have mentioned that they will start using social media factors for their rankings. We are also recommending our user’s to start with having presence in all important social media and see the trend of traffic vis-a-vis follower-ship and likes. As social signal gets more factored and it evovles, we will keep tab and improvize on our recommendations.
SearchEnabler provides two service options. The Starter pack is priced at $15 a month and the Pro account costs $49 a month.