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PARK CITY — Since practically the dawn of internet search engines, one of the principal challenges for anyone, or any business, with a website has been getting that content noticed by surfers of the vast digital ether.
Utah startup Huckabuy has built a software package that optimizes websites to be easily “found” and indexed by search engines, and the company says clients are seeing, on average, a 61% increase in organic search traffic when they use the service.
On Tuesday, the company announced it had closed a $2.3 million seed round in December, with funding led by Utah venture capital firm Album and including participation from Cottonwood Heights-based Kickstart Seed Fund as well as Dutch firm ForwardVC.
Huckabuy founder and CEO Geoff Atkinson said the key to what the company’s cloud-based software does is listening — and responding to — the ever-changing algorithms that Google uses to conduct internet searches.
“The purpose of Huckabuy is to give Google the perfect experience when they crawl our customers’ websites,” Atkinson said in a statement. “Huckabuy simply listens to Google, builds software accordingly and our customers grow like crazy as a result.”
Atkinson and his team have been self-funding, or bootstrapping Huckabuy since it launched five years ago and, along the way, built a client list including such heavy hitters as Salesforce, European tech giant SAP and Utah-based tech education innovators Pluralsight.
“We’ve been waiting on taking venture investment, because we were looking for the right partner,” Atkinson said. “We finally found that partner in Diogo (Myrrha, general partner at Album). Credit to him, he’s changing venture capital in Utah.”
Myrrha said Huckabuy is addressing a critical market segment that’s been marred by flaws in paid advertising models as the primary tool to drive internet traffic.
“We feel privileged to back Geoff in this transformational concept,” Myrrha said in a statement. “Our overarching thesis is that the paid advertising world is broken, and as we dug into this problem it became clear that (search engine optimization) was extremely undervalued.
“The best leads, the best growth, the best (return on investment) comes from (search engine optimization). The only way to solve it is by going back to search’s original roots in organic results. Paid media isn’t sustainable in the long run, but volume in organic search is, and that is what Huckabuy brings to its customers.”
The company said its secret is following Google’s large scale algorithm trends, including mobile and voice search and focusing on the importance of structured data markup. Huckabuy recently introduced dynamic rendering, which creates optimized, alternative client websites specifically for Google search automation to discover and index.