Search Leader RKG Acquires ex-Googler Vanessa Fox’s Company, Nine By Blue

Digital Marketing Pioneers Join Forces to Marry High-Value Search, Social and Digital Consulting and Service, with Industry-Leading Software

SEATTLE--()--Digital and search marketing leader RKG today announced it has acquired Nine By Blue, ex-Googler Vanessa Fox’s software and consulting company. The combined company brings together the best minds, methodologies, and technology for deep understanding of customer intent across global digital platforms, and creates one of the most intelligent offers in search, social and digital marketing available today.

The acquisition – a 100 percent cash and stock deal –includes Blueprint, Nine By Blue’s search analytics and diagnostics proprietary software, which will become part of the RKG technology suite.

A search industry visionary, Fox is widely known as the creator of Google’s Webmaster Central and helped launch The author of Marketing in the Age of Google, Fox also serves as a contributing editor for Search Engine Land and writes for a variety of publications on search engine optimization and searcher behavior. She’s advised companies of all sizes globally, has offered advice on better citizen access to online US government information for White House online initiatives, the NIH, and other government agencies, and speaks to audiences worldwide. She is the Founder and CEO of Nine By Blue, and in joining RKG takes on the new role of Chief Product Officer.

“We are thrilled to have Vanessa, Blueprint and the Nine By Blue team join RKG,” said George Gallate, CEO, RKG. “At RKG, we unashamedly see digital through the lens of search. By using data to understand customer intent, we make marketing smarter, particularly search and social, both to build brands and create customer fulfillment. Nine By Blue is a like-minded company that shares our values of smart people using smart technology, and we’re excited about what we can achieve together.”

RKG is one of Google’s largest independent paid search agencies in terms of billings under management and was named by Advertising Age as the fastest growing search agency in their 2013 Agency Report. A recent Forrester study cited RKG as a leading Demand Generation agency, and in the Internet Retailer Top 500, RKG had the most retail clients compared to any other search agency. RKG offers a wide range of digital and search services, including pay-per-click, SEO, social media marketing, comparison shopping management, display advertising and multi-channel attribution management services.

The combined technology and robust consulting services provided by RKG analysts offers online businesses a complete solution for mining data, developing strategy and executing tactics efficiently.

“There are many synergies between the technical and consulting services of Nine By Blue and RKG,” said Fox. “We are looking forward to leveraging RKG’s established infrastructure to bring Blueprint to a broader audience, and to bring new products to market at a faster rate. We’re already collaborating on areas like social and mobile, where there is a major shift in consumer behavior and are preparing for some exciting updates to the Blueprint offering and the broader technology portfolio. Marketers need real, actionable metrics, not just more data, and need insights to better connect with audiences as online behavior shifts.”

Both Nine By Blue and RKG were founded by marketing executives who saw a need for solutions that simplified the process of acquiring, analyzing and acting on data related to customers’ online behavior. As creator of Google Webmaster Central, Fox created the tools and diagnostics to enable organizations to open up the black box of search to make their web sites found by more searchers in Google. She left Google in 2007 to start Nine By Blue, helping companies develop smart strategies around organic search data and its influence on every business function. RKG was formed by Alan Rimm-Kaufman and George Michie in 2003 after careers in online merchandising exposed them to the challenges of trying to manage paid search, statistical data capture and analysis, and IT constraints within an organization. In 2011, RKG acquired Audette Media, beefing up the agency’s SEO offering and bringing that company’s founder, Adam Audette, into the newly created position of Chief Knowledge Officer at RKG.

Commenting on the deal, Audette added, “There’s a deep need in the SEO industry for people and practices that focus on users rather than algorithms. Vanessa understands this and is a clear leader in the space. Together we will be well positioned to help our clients solve the multi-million dollar questions: ‘What are customers searching for, and why?’; ‘How can we better target these customers?’; ‘Where and how should we invest our money?’ Through data we'll gather the information needed to answer these questions, and integrate it with our shared knowledge to create informed, ROI-focused strategies for our clients.”

In her new role, Fox will work closely with Gallate, Audette and RKG founder and Chief Marketing Scientist, George Michie, on groundbreaking product development and client strategy. Integration of Blueprint into the RKG platform has begun, with completion expected early this summer.

Fox and the Nine By Blue team will continue to be based in Seattle, operating as RKG Seattle. Additionally, RKG has offices in Boston, MA, San Francisco, CA and Bend, OR with headquarters in Charlottesville, VA.

About RKG

RKG is a search and digital marketing agency that combines superior marketing talent with leading edge technology to create the industry’s most effective data-driven online marketing solutions. Founded in 2003, RKG specializes in working with clients in retail, travel, financial and B2B organizations ranging in size from small startups to Fortune 500 companies, including CareerBuilder,, Express, Herman Miller, Jones New York and Zales. In 2013, RKG acquired ex-Googler Vanessa Fox’s company, Nine By Blue – creating one of the most powerful search marketing offerings globally. A recent Forrester study listed RKG as a leading Demand Generation agency, while Advertising Age ranked RKG the fastest growing search agency in 2013. A privately held company, RKG is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA with offices in Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, Bend, OR and Boston, MA. For more information visit or follow the company on Twitter @rimmkaufman.

About Nine By Blue

Nine By Blue is a search software and consulting firm founded by SEO luminary Vanessa Fox. As creator of Google Webmaster Central and author of Marketing in the Age of Google, Fox has spoken to companies all over the world, including Disney, eBay, Microsoft, and Yahoo, as well as to organizations such as the National Press Club, the National Institutes of Health, and the Smithsonian. Nine By Blue has worked with clients such as Microsoft, Expedia, BankRate, AllRecipes, and IGN to harness the power of search for greater customer understanding and engagement. Blueprint is Nine By Blue’s signature business intelligence product that transforms SEO and web analytics data into insight and action.


Dalton Dorne, 434-220-5238
M: 201-232-7281

Release Summary

Ex-Googler Vanessa Fox announces the sale of her search marketing firm, Nine By Blue, and proprietary software, Blueprint, to RKG, a leading search and digital marketing agency.


Dalton Dorne, 434-220-5238
M: 201-232-7281