If you have ever done any research on backlinks, chances are you are familiar with the name Brian Dean. He is the founder of Backlinko, a website that provides case studies and strategies on how to generate backlinks the right way. He is a recognized SEO expert, and if you type in any keyword related to backlinks, you will see his website at the top of search results.Forbes
SEO Training Company Backlinko has been acquired by Semrush
Jan. 2022. Semrush acquires Backlinko.com for an undisclosed amount of money. Gaining approx. $800K+ in revenue from about 500,000 monthly visitors.
Sounds like a can’t beat them, buy them thing but…
How will this make Semrush a more robust source of SEO knowledge, and will it help it pull away from other toolset providers?
- This will help improve the Semrush Academy’s content creation and production processes as well as enhance its content.
- Instantly doubles their traffic value.
- It may also make Semrush more effective in the provision of Web enlightenment data, which many currently regard as below the standard of Ahrefs
- Additionally, Backlinko (under Semrush’s umbrella), gets about 1 million organic visitors every single day, based on this announcement.
About Backlinko and Brian Dean (its founder).
Backlinko has been around since about 2012, and is regarded as one of the most respected resources for training, strategies, and advice for today’s digital marketers.
However it was a long road to get to a place where it attracted the attention of the big players.
Prior to becoming involved in online business’s, Dean had dropped out of a Ph.D program in Nutrition.
According to Dean, his advisor was a “jerk” and he went and got a job as a dietician.
That was in 2008, and in the middle of the financial crisis.
When getting a job was a challenge, particularly for a new graduate with very little experience.
Then he came across and read “The 4-Hour Workweek“ by Timothy Ferriss.
This book started Dean on his entrepreneurial path.
Some failures and some wins followed, he even worked for a time as a freelancer on elance, now known as Upwork.
After creating a successful website about diets and nutrition, he decided to get a greater understanding of Search Engine Optimization.
This lead to the creation of a course called “Seo that Works,” where he highlighted that sometimes its important to write content not for your readers, but for other website owners who have the power to create backlinks for you.
In the years that followed he has expanded into others areas building on his SEO experience in…
- Link building
- Educational resources. including video and text-based content.
- Social media, and SEO training.
- Widgets, code, and proprietary SEO techniques.
As Dean says in his marketing…
That’s probably why Inc called me “A brilliant marketer” and why Forbes listed my company as one of their “Top 20 Blogs to Follow”Brian Dean.
SEMRUSH not only acquired the business, they also acquired Dean and his employees.
Although Dean’s role is “part time” (and probably more of a consulting role), rather than a complete hands on role in the everyday workings of the companies.
Takeovers in the SEO field are becoming common. SEO Plugin developer AISEO was taken over by Awesome Motive in 2021.
Again, this was a lock stock and barrel takeover, with the staff of AISEO being absorbed into Awesome Motive’s operations.
Why Target Backlinko?
There are other big names in the SEO world that could have have targeted, and it is in an acquisition mode, according to an email he released.
Perhaps some of the other well known names listed below could expect a similar email.
Steven van Vessum, the content king.
- Alina Benny. Content SEO specialist and owner of Nextiva.
- Jim Boykin. CEO & Founder / Internet Marketing Ninjas.
- Adam Riemer. Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC.
Or any other of the 202 SEO “experts” that made the list of “Most Authoritive SEO Experts” in 2021.
Interestingly, Not included in the list was Brian Dean, Neil Patel, Matt Diggity, or (probably), whoever your favourite SEO expert is. (The writer of the article did apologize though).
In fairness though, when you look through the list of experts in the list, they include employees of companies like MOZ, or The Motely Fool, and big name media, like CNN.
It would appear that this is a serious attempt by Semrush at wanting to broaden its base, as it is often overshadowed by it’s main competitor, Ahrefs.
Interestingly enough Backlinko had the top spot on Google searches for the term “Semrush”. An almost unheard of feat in branding terms.
As they said in their press release
The desire to acquire Backlinko was fueled by Semrush’s commitment to inspiring both the current and next generation of digital marketers. Today’s marketers require not only the highest quality tools, they also need best-in-class training from real experts and practitioners in the field.yahoo finance
So far all the news is good, with Semrush seeing its shares rise following backlinko’s acquisition.
Within a month of the takeover Dean’s face is now the face of Semrush Academy.
What does the future hold.
After almost 10 years, and, after creating one of the most informative SEO and content sites in the world, he will still be keeping his hand in, helping one of his major competitors with one of its most significant moves to strengthen its branding.
From a business point of view it was a good call. Lets hope it works out well for them.
However only time will tell.
Thanks for reading. As always feel free to add your comment below.