Developing SEO software almost always has been inspired by those within the industry. Often they are managers of an SEO company or successful owner of E-commerce and affiliate sites. Razvan Gavrilas from cognitiveSEO falls within the later.

Can you describe cognitiveSEO as if I knew nothing about it?

cognitiveSEOWell … It is not just another mediocre SEO Tool. Why I say this, is because cognitiveSEO was born with passion from the needs that I had for ranking my own sites (both for affiliate marketing & e-commerce) and the most stringent needs I had regarding SEO. The core module is the Link Analysis, as at this point in time Links are still the most important factor when it comes to why a particular site ranks high. It will help you analyze your link profile and your competitors link profile at a very granular level. But the tool doesn’t only focus on links. It also allows you to track your rankings in the big search engines on a daily basis and manage projects for teams of people using the integrated To-dos sections.

What was your inspiration for creating cognitiveSEO?

The need that I had when doing affiliate marketing. My final scope was to give the site owner the ability to analyze at a very granular level the factors that influence the rankings of his site and his competitors.

The main focus of the tool is to simplify the understating of the SEO data complexity that we have today, and allow you to take that analysis and use it to increase your rankings.

Since the commencement of your SaaS product, what have been the highs and lows for cognitiveSEO?

Hmmm. The Highs where the unexpected high number of customers we had when we initially launched the product in December 2011. Then we got a lot of feedback from our customers … feedback that we really listened to. I do not think we had any Lows in terms of things that disappointed us. If you consider Lows, issues that we had, here I can include some errors (they are imminent to any software product) that we usually solve in hours. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Which top 3 features of cognitiveSEO would you say outshine the competition?

  1. Anything related to the Link Analysis – The simplicity and granularity of the link details & the website interface.
  2. Visual Detection of the Link Positioning – Let’s says Google Instant Previews for Links. Finds Hidden Links also.
  3. Link & Content Classification using our own AI algorithms. The ability to filter links using thousands of combined filters to the level of detail you need.

Do you have time to read the SEO blogs while developing cognitiveSEO, if so, which blogs/twitter accounts do you follow?

Sure I do. If you do not keep up to date with this rapidly evolving industry you can’t create “cutting edge seo tools” :).
Hmmm. I follow a lot of blogs. Most of them regurgitate news and content but some of the most important ones that do provide value (and always did from my POV) are and

There is a broad range of techniques within the SEO industry, how do you think cognitiveSEO manages to facilitate this?

I do sincerely think that at this point in time rankings are still 90% based on back links. Other offsite factors that can & might influence rankings are social signals & traffic data. There is a “fight” going on for a few years now regarding low quality links. But it is still about links. Taking links out of the ranking algorithm from my POV is impossible at this point in time. Social Signals have also links at their base structure. Social Signals are also a bunch of links from a unified source Twitter,Facebook etc. The concept is different. With traffic data there are other issues regarding privacy. So you see, it is not feasible at this point in time, to remove links as a major signal or devalue the high quality links.

Taking all the above in consideration I think cognitiveSEO is the best tool to analyze them since we aggregate data from several data providers that we then go and re-crawl on demand giving you an instant snapshot of how you stand from a back link point of view. Using the weekly recurring feature you can stay up to date on what new links your competitors are getting allowing you to always be up to date on what they are doing. And this not only matters from a ranking point of view but from a strategy point of view.

You can very easily disect link profiles and understand much faster why a site might be ranking for a particular keyword.
You can find low quality links that might affect you site (Penguin Penalized sites)
And in the following months some new “cool” modules are coming. Stay tuned. It is going to be a SEO changer :).

Without giving too much away, what juicy features are on your roadmap for the next 12 months?

The next 12 months is a very long period of time. We do not plan 12 months ahead, taking in consideration the speed at which the SEO industry changes. We do have a roadmap for the next 6 months though. We are very adaptable and we plan as we go. In September we have a major release and all the Link Analysis is getting improved.

What third party tools do you wish you could implement but don’t currently have an API?

If Google had an SEO API, that would be a major plus for everyone in SEO. But it doesn’t ( at least for what we think it would be relevant to SEOs at the level of detail that would make a difference).

Who inspires you in life and how is this transposed into your work life?

I do not have any idols. I am inspired by smart people whom are not blinded by money,”famous people” or “fixed ideas”. These people are very rare nowadays, unfortunately.
Regarding the work life, I do things with the greatest passion. If it does not passion me I do not do it. I also try to learn from both my own mistakes and other peoples’ mistakes and successes.

What conferences are you attending over the next 12 months?

Nothing planned yet. We have been to SES New York and ion Search in Leeds this year and we had a very good response rate and met some great people there.

Many thanks for sharing your personal insights about cognitiveSEO. Razvan has given all readers of BristolSEO 10% lifetime discount using this coupon code BRISTOLSEO10.

Razvan GavrilasRazvan Gavrilas is the proud Founder & Chief Architect of cognitiveSEO, an SEO Toolset focused on in-depth analysis of ranking signals. With over 8 years experience in affiliate marketing and search engine optimisation and 12 years in programming and web development, he has gone from Web Developer to Super Affiliate for large international networks. With a strong focus on everything that is Search Engine related, he developed strategies to stand-out search engine updates. His passion for search engine marketing led him to create his own SEO Toolset, trying to solve the issues that he is facing in the search engine optimisation field.