Fastest-growing Slingshot SEO changes strategic course

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Slingshot SEO Inc., a fast-growing Internet marketing firm that made a job-creation deal with the state in 2011, said Monday that it was eliminating about 15 percent of its work force—or roughly 15 employees.

The moves are being made to help the firm deal with big industry shifts in search-engine optimization, the Indianapolis-based company said.

“The move was made in order to better position the company to upcoming opportunities and to refocus its mission beyond search-engine optimization,” spokeswoman Kate Snedeker said.

Slingshot was ranked the fastest-growing company in central Indiana last year with revenue of nearly $11 million and 100 employees, according to IBJ’s annual ranking. The privately held firm had revenue of just more than $1.3 million two years ago.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. agreed in May 2011 to award Slingshot up to $1.15 million in tax credits, if it creates 114 more jobs by 2013. The company had about 50 workers at the time.

Snedeker noted that the company is still hiring. The company’s job postings include future openings for “search media” networkers, who will be responsible for generating “earned media” placement on behalf of clients.

Google shook up the SEO world in 2011 by changing its search algorithm, which made some optimization tactics obsolete. At the same time, companies are looking to use email and social media to push marketing messages out to an audience, rather than pulling traffic to a single website.

The social media trend prompted Compendium Blogware to reposition its business this year. The company previously used blogging to help clients drive traffic to their websites. Compendium now sells a “hub,” where clients can deposit marketing content and have it distributed over a number of platforms.

It's not clear what direction Slingshot is headed. Snedeker said CEO Don Kane would not be available for comment. Kane recently moved from chief operating officer to the CEO post after the departure of Jay Love. Slingshot was founded in 2006 by three entrepreneurs with roots in Zionsville.



  • What I can't figure out...
    ... is what's taken either firm so long to decide they needed to change the lane of traffic they were in. I'm not expecting anyone to hop around from rock to rock, willy nilly, but sometimes it's almost as if they need a naked woman, dancing around in front of them with a sign telling them what's going on (in 25 words or fewer). "See the hill, take the hill, and ignore everything else" seems a mantra for the misguided.
  • Fleeced?
    Lewellen, let's be honest, all technology companies have to adjust to the market or they die. That is exactly what Slingshot is doing. And why do you feel as a taxpayer you are being fleeced by Slingshot? If the new jobs are not created and hired, the tax credits will not be issued.
  • not surprising
    a friend of mine use to work for slingshot and was "layed off" with 150 other contract workers at the beginning of the year. it sounds like it is going downhill really quickly. the signs are written all over. i've heard that everyone in the company is overworked and way underpaid. plus clients leave because the company can't perform.
  • Seriously?
    This is beyond ridiculous. Simply Google SEO and then follow the Wikipedia link. The world has moved on. Nobody does SEO any longer. It is not a business model. I can't believe there are people born after 1892 that still believe this nonsense. Only in Indiana. If you're a legislator, wake up, please. As a taxpayer, I am tired of being fleeced.
    • Links = Pain
      This company probably achieved initial success through link building, link farms and other tactics considered "black hat" in the web community. Most companies would see success on Google searches and just blindly pay, not knowing many companies were just building their websites up with bad links. Recently Google addressed this issues (about five months ago), and most of the websites or keywords that were optimized in this fashion ended up getting removed from Google search results. Clients panicked! I know of many SEO firms that are losing clients in droves because of this change. I wonder if Slingshot SEO is having the same issues... If this is the case, I would imagine they (Slingshot SEO) are no longer building these link farms and moving more towards content creation and organic placement... hence the push towards "search media" professionals, ie. writers, bloggers, video and graphic people to create content for their clients.

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