In this #TYBspotlight I natter to Jacob Hagemann (Founder) of Hoosh, about the ways in which their services support business market research and competitive analysis, staying ahead of Google’s algorithm and what new products they have in store for 2014.
Jacob, tell us a little about your background and reason for setting up Hoosh
I have been working with Search Marketing and e-Commerce since 1998, primarily as a consultant and owner of search marketing agencies. I have also started up commerce companies and worked hands-on with selling goods online.
During the years I have always had an interest in knowing more about what is going on in the market.
- How are the competitors doing?
- What are they doing?
- Am I doing the right stuff, etc?
About three years ago I started an internal project in my agency to get more of this kind of knowledge and we started to sell it to a few customers. Then another few customers wanted it and it keep going like that. As it was very manually driven for the first year there was a limit to the amount of customers that we could actually have and running it partly was very time consuming.
I believe very much in what we are doing and the decision to take it a step further was easy. I was lucky to find two seed investors and could start building a real platform for the service. We began the development in November 2012 and changed total direction in January 2013 where the decision to build InsideIndustry as our main product was taken. InsideIndustry was launched in October 2013.
We’ve seen a number of market intelligence tools on offer. What makes Hoosh stand out from the pack?
For sure there are a lot of market intelligence tools in the world. The main difference between us and the rest of the tools is probably that we base our analysis on data we collect from Google. We believe that Google is such an important player in the world today that your position in Google can be used as an indicator for your general market position.
This is why we built InsideIndustry as a Country / Industry / Category index. We offer companies to understand their market position within minutes across 250 different categories in (currently) five countries. And more importantly, we offer them to understand the position of their competitors. Actually we are very much a Competitive Intelligence service as well as being a marketing intelligence tool.
I’m fascinated by all these different kinds of ‘ranking’. What’s ‘HooshRank’ and how does it work?
HooshRank is a metric that shows companies/websites how they are ranked in a category. It’s important to understand that we are not talking about how they are ranking for a specific keyword, but how they are ranked across a selection of top keywords for that specific category.
I will give an example:
For the category “Hybrid Cars in the Car Industry in the US Market” we have defined a set of keywords with the highest search volume and the most competition. Usually around 20-25 keywords for a category. This is what we need as a strong indicator. We know that there are probably hundreds or thousands of keywords that are relevant for this category, but usually 70-80% of the business is controlled by a small amount of keywords. And this is what we are looking at to determine the rank of companies.
So the company with HooshRank no.1 is the company that has the overall best position across all the keywords for the category – meaning that this becomes a metric that can be used for comparison between websites. These keywords are not designed to favour one company towards another. They are objective and generic.
If you have a HooshRank of 35 or 77 in a category you know that you will have to get to work – especially if it is a category that is important to you and if it is a category where your competitors are ranking 1-2 and 5.
@TweakYourBiz Great Initiative with #TYBspotlight. Thumbs up!
— Hoosh Technology (@HooshTechnology) November 26, 2013
InsideIndustry shows competitor’s search marketing strategies. What can a company expect to find out?
We offer, to my knowledge, the only holistic analysis of companies’ position in Google, meaning that we take into account both the paid and the organic results when we calculate the visibility of a company. We have developed a very sophisticated Visibility Score that is partly based on actual human Search & Click behavior. Our panel is giving us data about their search and click behavior as they use Google on a daily basis.
Every time they do a query and make a click on a result in Google we receive information about the anatomy of the search engine result page that was present for that exact query. And this is another place where we differ a lot from the competition. We actually take into account the anatomy of the SERP when we calculate the Visibility Score.
An example could be a SERP (search engine result page) with 14 Google Adwords vs a SERP without Google Adwords. It is clear to everybody that the value of a number 1 ranking in the organic index of Google is very different in these two scenarios. With 14 Ads on the page there could be up to 40% -50% of the users that would click on the Ads rather than the Organic index. Meaning that the traffic value of a no.1 ranking on this type of SERP needs to be reduced.
So to answer the question:
A company can expect to see a very realistic picture of their actual share of the search market for each of the categories that they are present in. They can see this for themselves and for their competitors. They can see the actual mix between organic and paid search advertising for the competitors and much more.
How do you keep up with search engines and the algorithm updates?
This is not an easy task, but we have a very skilled team working on this night and day. Actually we are often on the forefront to spot the algorithm updates, or at least the outcome of the update. It is very easy to see when a company all of a sudden drops 5-10 % of their visibility score on Organic search. This is usually due to some kind of update either in the search engine or if the company changed their website or other dramatic stuff.
I wish I could say yes.
We have a good group of customers using this and especially online driven companies in ecommerce and travel as the two top categories. Some of them have been using it since the very beginning, but they are not so keen on actually revealing how they use it – at lease not yet and not publicly!
I hear on the global, online grapevine that there is a lot of activity at HQ and perhaps some new, exciting products are on the cards. Can you tell us a bit about them (if the rumours are true of course)
Lots of things are happening and we are very busy 🙂
We have new and exciting features coming out soon. Features that will help companies understand the actual spend of their competitors in Google Adwords and actually calculate how much traffic each competitor is getting from the different keywords. This is especially interesting now with all the NOT Provided stuff with Google.
Also we are extending our free HooshRank to HooshBattle. To use the HooshRank you need to register, but now we are launching the HooshBattle where you – free of charge – can battle two domains against each other. Simply type in the two domains and we will give you an overview of how each of them are performing in the search engine. The only limitation to this service is of course the different markets that we cover, the industries and the categories. If you are outside our focus categories you will get the message: there is now HooshRank for your website. You should only worry about this if you are not active in any of our 5 countries, 20 industries and 250 categories 🙂
What do you see happening online within the next 12 months – anything that affects what you do? Anything that will simply blow the mind of anyone in the online industry?
I think we will see a lot of interesting things happen over the next 12 months. The shift towards more data-driven marketing and data-driven decisions in general will create more and new companies and services crossing BIG DATA streams from all kinds of channels. I think this is very interesting and I expect to see big things. For a company like Hoosh I see a bright future as marketing management and search marketers will start to understand what it is we are offering them in a matter of seconds.
I often say that we are the fastest market analysis tool in the world and I really would like to challenge anyone who thinks they can do it faster than us. I just tested now.
- From opening InsideIndustry to knowing who are the main competitors in the Airline Ticket category in Germany it took me 16 seconds.
- To fully understand the mix between Paid and Organic search in this category it took me another 4 seconds.
- If I want to go through all the 15 features and think a little bit about it – maybe setup a specific benchmark and adding my domain etc. I may decide to use 4-5 minutes. I think that is very fast.
Ask a traditional market analysis company and they will tell you 5-6 weeks and probably somewhere around 20-30.000 Euro 🙂
We offer our customers to follow their own performance and the performance of their competitors on a daily basis. I think that is a very strong offering.
It’s obvious from Jacob’s responses there there is a lot to grapple with – search engine algorithms, big data processing, new technology and trends, etc. However it does appear to keep him and the entire team at Hoosh, challenged. There’s a real emphasis on ‘being the best’, and this is where I see Hoosh storming the market – quality in everything they do. This is a company to watch! It was a pleasure getting to know Hoosh, Jacob Hagemann and Smilena Spasova.
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