Google Capital & SEO

Note: My man Jacob just published an awesome post looking at the SEO efforts of these companies. We have been writing the same post apparently. My charts are a touch different so I hit publish shortly after his went live.


“Few companies have such an in-depth understanding of the Internet as Google,” said Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche. “We believe our relationship with Google will be very helpful in better serving our customers. We couldn’t be more excited to have them on board.” [via]

This is hardly scientific but with all of the chatter surrounding Thumbtack’s relationship with Google I thought it’d be interesting to look at organic search traffic for other Google Capital investments.

I pulled these estimates using SEMRush and dropped in a marker when Google-backed investment rounds were announced for each company.

First, some background on Google Capital:

Founded in 2013, it focuses on larger, growth stage technology companies, and invests for profit rather than strategically for Google. In addition to capital investment, Google Capital’s approach includes giving portfolio companies access to Google’s people, knowledge, and culture to support the companies’ growth and offer them guidance.

Survey Monkey – Online survey solutions
Google initially invested in Survey Monkey on Jan 16, 2013.



Glassdoor – Anonymous company reviews
Glassdoor reaped huge benefits and doubled traffic from the Panda 4.0 update. That was several months before Google completed their investment round, however. Glassdoor ranks on page 1 for seemingly every company’s brand name.


Lending Club – Peer-to-peer lending
There has been chatter for a little while that Lending Club is getting a helping hand from Big G in the search results. Google invested in them in May 2013.


Fresh Desk – Online customer support software
FreshDesk was added to Google Capital’s portfolio in June 2014.


Renaissance Learning – Learning analytics
Google Capital invested 40m in February 2014.

renaissancelearning – Online marketplace for real estate
Joined the Google capital fold in March 2014.



Credit Karma – Credit & financial management platform
Google Capital invested in another high competition industry when they led an 85m round in March 2014.


MapR – Enterprise software
MapR closed a 110m financing round led by Google in June 2014.


Thumbtack – Online marketplace for local services
Ahh, the infamous Thumbtack that shows up for nearly every local SERP in every city. Google Capital invested in August 2014. If you think they are good at sourcing local vendors….they apparently are even better at writing reconsideration requests.


Innolight – High speed optical transceiver supplier
Google capital invested in September 2014.


CommonFloor – Real estate in India
Google Capital’s first 2015 investment took place in January 2015.


ZenPayroll – Online payroll solution
A 60m round lead by Google Capital closed in April 2015.


DuoLingoApp that teaches new languages
Series D round in June 2015. Too soon to really analyze their search traffic.


Read into these amateur charts however you’d like.

No way to tell from this if Google’s SEO “advice” goes beyond emailing a link of the Webmaster Guidelines or not. Google’s investing in companies that are forecasted to grow regardless of SEO help or not…not to mention the huge influx of cash for these companies when the investment rounds hit.

Maybe they are all investing all of that new cash right into SEO.

Whether they are getting inside info or not, it is frustrating to know that the same company that controls the flow of traffic around the web has large financial interests in dozens of companies ranking extremely well in competitive verticals.

PS – Somebody could do a deep dive into the link building tactics or on-page optimization that these companies have employed. I would like to read that.

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