Taking away something that used to be free is inevitably going to cause uproar, and this is exactly what has happened with Blekko. For those who are unfamiliar, Blekko is an SEO tool that helps marketers gather online marketing data such as number of backlinks, clicks, finding duplicate content, and even comparing sites. The tool also utilized the /seo (slashtag) that helped marketers keep their inbound links organized. However, what has really made the tool famous is their search engine features. They filter out spam and malware from all of their results, so although this may not have taken the place of Google, it has certainly had people talking and trying since it’s launch in 2010.
The tool can be compared to tools such as SEOmoz and Majestic SEO. One of the biggest reasons that Blekko was able to remain in competition with such large data providers is because it was free. As of just last week, this has all changed. Blekko’s CEO Rich Skrenta confirmed that the company will now charge $99/month to use the SEO tools.
Was This the Right Choice for Blekko?
When looking at some of the similar SEO tools and the success they have had despite offering payment options, it makes sense that Blekko would want to begin charging for their services. People are willing to pay large amounts of money for SEO tool because SEO data and analysis is so important. So is $99/month a good price? Below are some prices of competitors:
- Ahrefs: Plans vary from $49 to $499 per month.
- SEOmoz: Plans vary from $99 to $499 per month.
- Majestic: Plans vary from $50 to $400 per month.
- SEMrush: Plans vary from $80 to $150 per month.
Naturally, the features you choose will depend upon how much you pay for an SEO service of this nature. However, being that Blekko is offering all services for a flat rate of $99 per month does seem to make it something still worthy of being part of the competitive field of SEO tools and services.
How Do Blekko Users Feel about the New Charge?
Blekko users will obviously prefer the tool remain free, but it seems that the real distance from users comes from Blekko’s lack of announcement for the change and their lack of marketing. There has actually still not been a formal announcement, so if people have not read articles like this one then they are surprised at the new price point.
SEO expert Jason McDonald wrote an article titled “Blekko SEO Tools Go from Great to Stupid.” Why? In this article he explained that Blekko is not even offering a free trial for their product. While most online tools will give you a few days to try something out, Blekko has eliminated “free” entirely.