SEOmoz’s acquisition announcement gets listed

Contact: Ben Kolada

Search engine optimization (SEO) specialist SEOmoz could also be considered a public relations expert. Rather than issuing a staid press release that follows the typical format, the company announced its acquisition of GetListed on Tuesday in rare form that included both style and substance. Having one characteristic without the other can cause a release to be a flop, but when combined together the impact can be profound.

Privately held SEOmoz announced on Tuesday the $3m cash and stock acquisition of GetListed, also privately held, using both a more formal press release and a ‘ransom note’ format.

The strategic rationale for the deal makes sense. The purchase of GetListed provides SEOmoz with software tools that SMBs use to analyze and utilize free local marketing outlets, such as Google Places. The deal adds a local component to SEOmoz’s otherwise geo-agnostic software.

But the substance of the announcement arguably carried more weight than the rationale of the fairly small transaction. Privately held companies are not required to disclose sensitive details of acquisitions, such as price, and very few choose to do so.

In providing both substance (the price of the transaction) and style (the ransom note format), SEOmoz was able to generate considerable media coverage. For example, a quick Google search for ‘seomoz’ and ‘getlisted’ generated more than three times as many results as a search for ‘urban airship’ and ‘tello’ – a pairing that was announced the same day.

Though perhaps a stretch, after seeing the success of its own public relations model, we wonder if SEOmoz may want to offer public relations capabilities to its customers. If it decides to go this route, one likely target would be young startup AirPR, which provides a platform for companies to find public relations professionals.

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