NZ firm offers search engine boost

Auckland-based developer Altatude has developed software that it claims will push any Web site into the top 20 returns from any search engine.

Auckland-based developer Altatude has developed software that it claims will push any Web site into the top 20 returns from any search engine.

Altatude clients were wary of giving away competitive advantage and would only speak to Computerworld on condition of anonymity.

The software, called Rush Hour, was developed by two Hamilton men, Phillip Head and Todd Baxter, in response to the problem of trying to attract visitors to a company Web site.

"We built a site for one company and nobody went to look," says Head, who says the two sat down and worked out how to crack the algorithms used by search engines to sort out their results.

"Basically, if you're not a .com site, you won't be in the first 100 hits," says Baxter.

Altatude works with its clients to better position their sites in the grand scheme of things.

"The problem is, if you do a general search on something like Alta Vista you'll get literally millions of hits," says the spokeswoman. "We decided we didn't want to be on the third page or the 60th, we wanted to be on the first page and ideally in the top 20."

The company was willing to develop some system in-house, but decided the project was beyond their scope and turned instead to Altatude. The results were positive almost immediately.

"We've definitely had growth in traffic — we've got a couple of projects underway at the moment so we can't say it's totally because of Altatude, but the results have been dramatic."

Altatude works with the client company to better position the site — it's a collaborative process rather than a one-way relationship, says Baxter.

"We don't just tell them what key words to use, that just wouldn't work. We get together with them and come up with a list between us."

Knowing who you want to target with your site is a key component to the mix as well.

"We really wanted to target the international market rather than domestic, but it's an ongoing process," says the spokeswoman.

Altatude is at www.altatude. com.

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