When I left Google, I didn’t intend to start Nine By Blue. I didn’t even necessarily plan to stay in search. But the more I talked with organizations, the more I saw a need to extend the work that I had done with Google Webmaster Central and provide practical, concrete advice on how to better connect with audiences through search. My entire career has been based on one thing: when I see a problem that I can help solve, a need that I can help fill, I jump right in. That’s what drives me.
So, one day, I suddenly had a company. I saw ways to help organizations more scalably, so I built best practices libraries and content strategy and technical assessment methodologies and brought people on to help me. And then another day, I could clearly see how technology could help me help others even more. Which is obviously not unlike how Google webmaster central grew. Education helps, but data that’s customized for your organization really helps.
I am so proud of the work my developers have done in creating Blueprint. It’s a beautiful platform for consuming all kinds of data and providing visualizations and insights that are greater than the sum of the parts. I feel as though we’re only getting started on what’s possible. I’m so excited about what we’ll be able to build from what’s already a fantastic way to understand how search engines crawl a site and the issues they’re encountering and to turn Google webmaster tools data into insights and actions.
But building an enterprise software company takes a lot of resources. And by resources, of course, I mean money, but I also mean time. We live in the age of startups. Everyone has one and anyone who doesn’t is encouraged to go out and get one. But having run a startup for more than five years, I can tell you that it’s not as easy as all of that. There comes a point when you have to take a hard look at yourself and your company and ask yourself what’s most important to you and how best do get there. Do you care most about building and running a company or about seeing your vision realized? I cared most about fulfilling my vision. Solving problems. I could have gotten there by continuing to run a company but it would have taken longer and it would have required me to continue to spend time on lots of things other than building software and helping people.
So I found a great partner with same vision as I have. George Michie and Adam Audette have been out there providing education and help on paid and organic search (respectively) for years. We have the same core values: data is just numbers without insight and excellent people to interpret it; paid and organic search programs should be built on solid, authoritative foundations, not on speculation and reverse engineering algorithms; focus on audience needs, solving people’s problems, building something of real value, not on manipulating search engines.
RKG is passionate about continuing to build Blueprint and fully take advantage of the platform we’ve created. They’re excited about incorporating our consulting methodologies into theirs and providing an even more robust offering: from full content strategy and technical assessments to ongoing tactical support. We can (and will) do amazing things.
If you’re a software engineer or UX designer (especially in Seattle) who wants to work with an awesome team on interesting data problems, please be in touch! And if you’re an SEO or content strategist who believes in the same core values as we do, from entry level to super senior (particularly if you want to live in Seattle, Bend, or Charlottesville), also please be in touch. We have big plans and need help to do it.
I’m so grateful to my staff for all of their hard work in building this company with me and I can’t to see what they can do now that we’re part of RKG.
If you’re a customer of ours, thank you! We’ve had a wonderful time working with our customers over the years and your needs have shaped what we’ve built (both with our software and our consulting). We’re not going away, we’re getting better!