Blessed by Suing Google
by Heidi R. Centrella - Tuesday 8th June, 2004
SearchKing grows as court challenge actually boosts ad sales
Despite the number of jobs leaving the state, a local Internet advertising sales company continues to grow, employeeing local talent at a rapid pace.
SearchKing has matured from seven employees last summer to 16 today, with plans to hire eight more by year's end.
The internet services company paid taxes on $70,000 in revenue in 1997 and by the end of 2004 estimates it will surpass the $2 million mark.
SearchKing founder Bob Massa thanks Google, in part, for his growth
A couple of years ago, Massa filed a lawsuit against the Internet giant when his PageRank dropped suddenly. age Rank is a Web page ranking system created by Google. Massa contended his Web page's ranking was purposefully dropped by Google to diminish his ability to sell ads in competition with Google's own ad service. But the lawsuit did not diminish SerachKing's sales, rather it helped them soar.
"The lawsuit with Google in 2002 definitely gave us an awful lot of exposure and our growth really started going through the roof at that time," Massa said. "We've always been steadily growing, but nothing like what happened after the Google lawsuit."
After more than two years, most of Massa's clients who were allededly affected by Google's actions have their page rank back. And the lawsuit, he said, actually brought a lot of attention to what the company does and how they do it.
While Massa maintains that search engine placement is an important aspect of the company, SearchKing also provides management for online newsletter campaigns and e-zines. The company maintains and manages thousands of Web sites globally, but its core product now is Web site promotion.
"It's the same thing as going to a Madison Avenue adverising agnecy and letting them handle your advertising - they put out your radio, TV and print ads," he said. "It's just there are things that are inherent to the Internet and we've focused on that since '96, and we've become good at it. So you do the same thing with us that you do with Madison Avenue, only with an online presence instead of an offline."
Massa said the demand for services like his is "absolutely incredible." And a lot of his business comes from word-of-mouth. Furthermore, Massa said he fully expects within the next 10 years for online advertsing to rival television,radio and newspaper advertising.
"The Internet is not going anywhere. It's only going to get more passing day," he said. "It changes quickly, and if you're not in a position to be able to capitalize on those changes, you'll be left behind."