We selected an open source solution, not only because of the budget considerations, but also for power and extensibility. Talend Open Studio for Data Integration proved to be the right decision for us. The product is feature-rich, stable and robust. It doesn't take a lot of time to build data integration processes, which is important in our fast moving business environment.Peter Loleit , Head of SEO and Technology
Online marketing specialist
Founded in 1996, Sitelynx Ltd. is the original search engine optimization specialist in the UK. The company has been leading the way in both natural and paid search and has now expanded into social media and website conversion optimization. Combining technical expertise with vision for the future, Sitelynx delivers top performance and positioning in all forms of search media.
When the Internet as we now know it was still in its infancy, Sitelynx identified the commercial potential of a medium which allows direct communication between businesses and consumers. Sitelynx realized very early on that a huge volume of data would need to be processed to identify positive consumer activity. The company has been a market leader and technical pioneer in the field of search marketing ever since.
Today, working almost exclusively with large business websites and globally recognized brands, Sitelynx has developed specalized expertise in the fields of publishing, retail, energy and financial services. Customers include companies such as the UK's largest newspapers TheSun.co.uk and Timesonline.co.uk as well as leading award-winning news site SkyNews.com and one of Britain's biggest electrical retailers, Comet.co.uk.
The company prides itself on its heritage and is a recognized leader in emerging search technology. Sitelynx is constantly developing new techniques in the disciplines of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and online PR, all of which need full measurement and data analysis to ensure campaign efficiency.
Mixing experience with innovation, Sitelynx are experts in new search technologies including mobile search and vertical search indexes - news, images, video, blogs, maps, local search and much more.
The next generation of search is already moving beyond the desktop as the traditional window to the Internet into mobile devices and television screens, presenting yet more data challenges.
Business intelligence applied to search marketing
Since the company launched in 1996, Sitelynx has continued to be a pioneer in the field of search marketing. "We are essentially collecting millions of individual actions - impressions, clicks, and transformations - through our partners, the internet advertising platforms," explained Peter Loleit, Head of SEO and Technology at Sitelynx. "In order to properly analyze them and understand which campaigns are the most efficient, we needed to consolidate all this information in a data warehouse, against which we are able to run consistent analysis and data mining."
Data provided by advertising and marketing platforms comes in various formats - XML and CSV files for the most, all of them formatted differently. Data is extracted from Pay-Per-Click platforms such as Google, Yahoo! and MSN, also from custom advertising platforms and many analytics platforms including Google Analytics and Omniture. Web Services are also widely used. The target is a MySQL data warehouse.
Each of Sitelynx's clients handles different file structures, different data models, and different types of analytics software. Special attention needs to be paid to file management and the integration of data into the data warehouse. Regardless of the source, data has to be analyzed consistently so behavioral trends can be identified.
"We are dealing with huge volumes of data. On average we are analyzing 15 million searches per month, over 180 million searches a year. Combining and integrating this vast amount of data for clients can be a daunting task," said Peter Loleit.
Enterprise ready open source data integration
Sitelynx initially reviewed several open source and proprietary solutions including Jitterbit, Business Objects, Kettle and Talend. "We were looking for the best solution to meet our business requirements at an optimal cost. We selected an open source solution, not only because of the budget considerations, but also for power and extensibility," said Peter Loleit. "Talend Open Studio for Data Integration proved to be the right decision for us. The product is feature-rich, stable and robust. It doesn't take a lot of time to build data integration processes, which is important in our fast moving business environment."
The software provides an easy-to-understand, non-technical view of a business workflow. Sitelynx is able to accurately map and view a graphical representation of processes and workflow charts for each client, enabling Sitelynx to make changes and adapt where necessary. This allows the organization to plan for the future and identify processes we might need.
"One of the biggest benefits to using Talend Open Studio for Data Integration is the fact that there is a strong and very active community supporting the development of the product," said Peter Loleit. "For example, it is very important for us to be able to connect natively to Google Docs in order to extract data from a spreadsheet. We are currently in touch with a community member based in Germany who is working on this connector. This kind of support and agility is not possible with proprietary solutions."
Beyond business intelligence, operational data integration
"Talend's solution is extremely powerful for ETL-loading a data warehouse," said Peter Loleit. "But its functional breadth and power also makes it useful for any task related to data movement and processing. We have a number of other projects - 30 in total - for which we are implementing Talend Open Studio for Data Integration, all with similar success."
Noteworthy amongst operational data integration projects is an application for the loading of product catalogues into the Google Shopping index via an XML feed natively supported by Talend Open Studio for Data Integration. Another important project involves the transmission of analytics data via text messages to people at Sitelynx responsible for maintaining PPC efficiency. "Several times a day, Talend pulls current reporting data from the Pay-Per-Click campaigns and sends it to the relevant person as a SMS," explained Peter Loleit. "It keeps key team members aware of their campaigns even when they are travelling. It is this type of data processing that requires versatility and agility, and this is a perfect example of the benefits we derive from a versatile data integration platform."
Visit Sitelynx.com for more information on how Sitelynx uses Talend in its search engine optimization services.