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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 29, 2013 at 7:00 AM

SEOmoz now just Moz, planning new Mozplex HQ

So much for Seattle’s weirdest startup name.

SEOmoz is losing its acronym and changing its name to plain old Moz.

The name change comes alongside a big product launch for the company. It’s releasing a new inbound marketing and analytics platform that will diversify its suite of marketing tools further beyond search engine optimization, the company’s original focus when it was founded in 2004.

Despite its unusual moniker, SEOmoz has been thriving. The company last year raised $18 million, acquired three smaller companies and doubled its staff to about 130 people.

Sarahbird

“We are also evolving our brand to reflect this product evolution. We’re not going to be SEOmoz and we’re just going for Moz,” said Chief Operating Officer Sarah Bird (pictured).

In other words, it’s no longer just an SEO play. And Moz is catchier.

But Bird stressed that the company will still provide search optimization tools.

“We’re not dropping SEO from the platform in any way,” she said. “In fact we have the new features that are very hardcore SEO … but we are trying to evolve as SEO has evolved.”

Moz is also an unusual name, but it resonates in some tech circles. Bird explained that the “moz” part of the company’s name was drawn from a tech meme in the early 2000s — the Mozilla open-source being the best example.

Internally, “Moz” has long been shorthand for the company. Employees call each other Mozzers and refer to the office as the Mozplex.

Speaking of which, the company is preparing to move into a larger, 50,000-square-foot Mozplex in downtown Seattle that will consolidate workers who are now in multiple locations.

But the company is tapering back on further physical expansion. Bird expects it will end the year with about 140 employees. It’s also unlikely to acquire another three companies this year.

“Partly it’s me saying no, I need a break,” she said.

For now the company’s still working on making the most of its acquisitions, “further deploying that investment and getting some return there,” she said.

Meanwhile, sales are growing steadily. The company expects revenue of $30 million this year. Last year it brought in $21.9 million, Bird said, ahead of its plan to reach $18 million.

Here’s a screenshot of its new Moz Analytics dashboard that Chief Executive Rand Fishkin included in his blog post announcing the changes:

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