It didn’t take long for Fili Wiese and Kaspar Szymanski to realise they had a special professional chemistry.
They met while both working for Google’s Search Quality team in Dublin. Wiese started out fighting web spam, and then moved on to click spam with the ad traffic quality team. Szymanski spearheaded the company’s webmaster outreach in Europe.
They often teamed up during their respective seven-plus years with the company, until Weise left in late 2012.
“We missed our collaboration at Google,” Weise told Business Insider, “So we started thinking, how can we start working together again?”
And so the idea for Search Brothers was born.
Szymanski eventually left Google in 2013. After some jet-setting, he connected with Weise to launch their new SEO consulting company.
“What if you could hire the Google Search Quality team for your Search Engine Optimization needs?” their website asks. “Obviously you can’t, but you can hire former Google Search Quality team members.”
The company has been officially up and running for about a month, and business is already booming.
“We got our first request to work together about 30 milliseconds after we announced the launch,” Szymanski says.
Using their combined 15 years of Search Quality experience, Wiese and Syzmanski are now helping client sites of all sizes do SEO audits (basically, health checks for their websites to ensure they can be found in search results), as well as manual action or organic adjustments recovery (helping them regain good search rankings when they have been knocked down).
Search Brothers will only work with “white hat” customers — that is, sites that want to improve their Google search results without scamming the system.
“Google actually likes former employees to help other companies,” Weise says. “If we help websites get better indexing, that means better content for Google. From that perspective, as long as we don’t go black hat, or violate our NDA, or go out publically with trade secrets of Google, Google is going to be happy.”
They say response so far has been extremely positive, and that they have had many client referrals, as well as repeat customers. They help companies with the basics, like making sure their sites are completely crawl-able, but also with larger strategies to attract attention from Google’s users.
“At my time at Google, the mantra was ‘Users are the most important,” Szymanski says. “If we help our clients focus on users, it is true that everything else will follow.”
The duo plans to keep Search Brothers a small operation, at least for now.
“Even if we wanted to expand and get other people on board, it would be very difficult to get someone who has the expertise — which is something you cannot easily replicate — and who can work with both of us without getting at each other’s throats over time,” Szymanski says with a laugh.
Of course, being at Google for so long, they both have things they will miss. Wiese says one of the things that he loved at Google was the opportunity to program.
“It’s amazing, some of the code that the engineers are writing,” he says. “There would be debates over a single line of code, just to perfect it better. I learned a lot just from seeing that, and from doing it myself. It’s not something that now I do a lot, though I really miss it at times. I program my own things in my spare time.”
Szymanski, on the other hand, misses getting to write extensively for the company, but also something a little sillier: Defending his title as one of the champions of an old Playstation game called SoulCalibur.
“Google is famous for its perks, and one of those things is that you have plenty of distractions,” he says. “One of my best friends was the only guy who ever beat me, ever in SoulCalibur. He is the master, but at least I was second! So that was one of my biggest achievements.”
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