• http://olivieramar.posterous.com/ Olivier Amar

    This was a pay to play thing by Forrester. What’s sad about the report, is that I know, for a fact, that Forrester excluded other software leaders because they wouldn’t pay to be in it. It’s a paid promotion marketed as real market research by Forrester. Sad.

  • http://DirectMatchMedia.com Ben Cook

    When you say Conductor, I think you mean the Conductor who has been exposed for selling links which hurt their clients rankings despite several very public warnings from Matt Cutts.

  • http://www.EmailTray.com Allen MacCannell

    Web CEO Online should have been in this report. Web CEO is famous for its desktop SEO software that has 800,000 downloads and which many small businesses use for free.

    If they didn’t include us, Forrester didn’t do its homework, for instance they didn’t do a Google Search for “SEO Software” and then consider calling the top 5 companies in the search results. Of all industries, this would be the one where doing that would be the best way to find the best products.

    I mean, let’s be serious: if software is supposed to be good at search engine optimization, one would imagine that software would appear at the top of Google search results for the keywords “SEO Software”.

    While it’s understandable that, in other industries, you can write about only the companies you’ve heard about from venture capitalists (as long as you don’t end up reviewing only those companies they invested in), what other criteria would you have for deciding what the best SEO companies are other than a Google search to see who gets the best actual search engine results?

    We’re a private profitable company that didn’t need venture capital investment (although it would be great now to have them hyping us like the ones they did invest in).

    Anyway, just like our desktop SEO software, the online version of Web CEO can be used for free (2 URLs and a very limited number of keywords to optimize for).

    You can see the functionality and use it before paying to optimize for more keywords and more URLs.

  • http://www.EmailTray.com Allen MacCannell

    Doesn’t anyone at Forrester do simple Google searches anymore to research what companies are tops in a particular business and then call them?

    They only really needed to call one of the two top companies in the search results for “SEO Software” because we’re #2 today (some days we’re #1).

    Or is that too easy, not something worth paying $499 for a “research” report? =)

    Maybe they should have a caveat: “Buy our report but also do a Google search on the subject because that’s too easy and obvious.”

  • http://www.EmailTray.com Allen MacCannell

    I just read the report, which says it conducted the survey in May 2010.

    We hadn’t launched the cloud-based version back then. We just launched that last month. One might have guessed that a large desktop SEO software company would be working on a cloud version, and given us a call, but it was correct back then to say we weren’t a player in the cloud for May 2010.

    That might explain why it says only two companies integrate with Baidu.

    Maybe Shar VanBoskirk can do an update to the PDF for those who might download it in, say, May 2011. I’d gladly speak with her (if she’s reading this, please contact me via Allen at WebCEO.com).

    It seems there was a time lag on this. It would be great to see Forrester update and refresh its reports.

  • http://www.adventuresinsearch.com Elisabeth Osmeloski

    @Allen – first, as Olivier Amar pointed out, most Forrester Reports are indeed pay to play scenarios, a certain number of companies per report typically sign on to sponsor the research / analyst time for surveys and reviews, and occasionally they do updates. But you’re best served to get in touch with them on the issue.

    I am also a little disappointed with the quality in general with this report, typically, even the paid ones contain much more useful data and analysis.

    Secondly, with all due respect, while I think it’s great you rank well for “SEO software”, (particularly given personalized / social signals affecting results) I don’t think that alone / is always a bonafide way to measure what is the “Best software”, similarly, just because an agency ranks for “SEO services”, it doesn’t mean they are the best SEO agency to hire for your needs.

    The best software, or best agency (whether SEO or accounting, or inventory mgmt) is the one that best suits your company’s explicit needs. it has absolutely nothing to do with who ranks on SE’s for what phrase.

    @Ben Cook – yes, I mean that Conductor – however, Vanessa Fox is working on a followup to that issue that you may be interested in, it’ll be posted on SEL soon –

  • http://DirectMatchMedia.com Ben Cook

    Elisabeth, I’ll eagerly await the follow up. I’m not sure how much of my interactions with them I’m legally allowed to share, but I think the publicly available information alone speaks volumes about the company.

  • http://www.adventuresinsearch.com Elisabeth Osmeloski