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Semrush: Helping companies unlock the best keywords with Google Cloud

About Semrush

Semrush is a leading online visibility management SaaS platform that enables businesses globally to run search engine optimization, pay-per-click, content, social media and competitive research campaigns and get measurable results from online marketing.

Industries: Technology
Location: US

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About Revolgy

Revolgy brings its customers cloud technologies adapted to their needs, with rapid time-to-value and smart solutions, and is a Google Cloud Partner.

To help businesses keep pace with the evolving digital marketing industry, Semrush turned to Google Cloud to help set up the right infrastructure and scale seamlessly with their growth.

Google Cloud results

  • Cuts engineering costs in half while scaling IT infrastructure globally
  • Simplifies database access to 700 projects on Cloud SQL to foster innovation
  • Enables new engineers to build in two months versus six, with solutions that have a shallow learning curve
  • Reduced the time of delivery of a new feature by two times
  • Computing power has increased by three times

Scales up computing resources in a few hours, not months

With the right keywords in place, a website can grow its reach and attract huge audiences. Semrush instinctively understood the power of keywords and how they can boost a company's success. Back in 2008, Semrush started as a small group of SEO and IT specialists united by one mission—to make online competition fair and transparent for everyone. The company wanted to help digital marketing teams improve their online marketing results, so it launched two online tools to track keywords and search volumes. Companies have since realized that establishing a strategy around keywords has become indispensable when looking to gain a competitive advantage. And Semrush's product range has kept growing exponentially to meet customer demand.

"We needed a solution that would allow us to scale our product easily, to attain global reach, and provide our engineers with the autonomy they need to innovate. Google Cloud offered the right infrastructure for us to achieve our goals."

Stepan Shirokikh, Vice President, Platform Infrastructure, Semrush

In 2016, Semrush had 21 tools to help clients create successful online marketing campaigns. But the company's success began to test the limits of its IT infrastructure. Semrush needed a solution that would scale as fast as its business, so it chose Google Cloud.

"We needed a solution that would allow us to scale our product easily, to attain global reach, and provide our engineers with the autonomy they need to innovate," explains Stepan Shirokikh, Vice President, Platform Infrastructure, Semrush. "Google Cloud offered the right solutions for us to achieve our goals."

Keeping pace with an evolving digital landscape

"Our main challenge was to find an infrastructure that could scale as fast as Semrush was growing," explains Vladimir Koval, Head of the Backend Platform Department, Semrush.

Semrush's previous bare-metal configuration limited the company's ability to grow. Further scaling meant increasing the amount of hardware, which had high maintenance costs. Finding the right balance of resources was an additional challenge, as some of Semrush's developers teams needed less computing power than others, leading to unnecessary expenditures. "For us, the infrastructure that Google Cloud offered really fit our requirements," says Shirokikh. "After testing other options, it became clear that Google Cloud was the provider that could allow us to scale the way we needed."

Migrating to Google Cloud also helped Semrush reduce the company's infrastructure expenses. "Had we kept our previous setup, we would have had to double our engineering costs. Google Cloud enabled us to cut down expenses by reducing the resources we needed to scale. It also allows our developers to work within budget constraints, which helps with managing costs," explains Shirokikh.

Teaming up with Revolgy, a Google Cloud Partner, Semrush receives continuous support in performing audits and learning how to optimize costs. "Revolgy helps us with budgeting, planning, and finding new ways to improve our operations," says Koval.

Driving innovation with cloud technology

In its bid to provide even more insightful digital marketing tools to its customers, Semrush needed a solution that would also allow its developers to innovate. The best way to achieve this was by decreasing the developers’ administrative constraints with simplified database access.

Semrush's previous infrastructure required developers to request permissions to create, whether it be proof of concepts or prototypes. "A lot of teams asked for a simpler solution. They used to depend on us to create databases in order to deploy. Now, with Cloud SQL, it's really easy. We store over 700 projects on it. Developers can deploy and meet customers' needs faster. It makes it easier to be more creative," shares Koval.

Semrush's developers have doubled the company's available tools since the migration began, from SEO and content creation helpers, to website monetization and competitor monitoring tools. "Google Cloud gives us a self-service infrastructure that provides our developers with an environment in which they are free to do whatever they want, to create and innovate autonomously," explains Shirokikh. "By reducing access constraints, Google Cloud enables our teams to innovate quickly."

"A lot of teams asked for a simpler solution. They used to depend on us to create databases in order to deploy. Now, with Cloud SQL, it's really easy. We store over 700 projects on it. Developers can deploy and meet customers' needs faster. It makes it easier to be more creative."

Vladimir Koval, Head of the Backend Platform Department, Semrush

When it comes to bringing projects to life, the team turned to Google Kubernetes Engine. When the company began its migration, Kubernetes was very new, and people at Semrush were not familiar with the platform. Curious, the company pushed its infrastructure and backend teams to research the product. "As Google Kubernetes Engine is a Google Cloud solution, we saw that as an advantage for building our applications on it. We knew it would be stable and integrate perfectly with our other Google Cloud solutions," says Koval.

Having a dedicated Google Cloud team when they started building on GKE proved useful in familiarization as well. "The team helped us create tutorials for our developers," explains Shirokikh. "They were really helpful for the whole migration process and saved us a lot of time not having to read all the documentation ourselves."

In doing so, Semrush discovered another advantage to GKE. The company's developers found it much easier to learn how to deploy on GKE, significantly speeding up the onboarding process. "Deploying to our old system used to take a new employee six months. Now, they're fully operational in two months," explains Shirokikh.

Scaling at speed to bring online visibility tools to the world

Leveraging the global network of resources provided by Google Cloud, and products that allow for easy worldwide expansion, Semrush was able to realize its growth plans. One such product is Cloud Spanner. As a relational database, Cloud Spanner's unlimited scaling capabilities help Semrush expand its reach in multiple geographical areas with ease. "Since Google Cloud has a global network, it's easy to connect globally. And we don't need to maintain servers or 2 everywhere," says Koval. "This is helping the company drive its global expansion further and faster."

"Since Google Cloud has a global network, it's easy to connect globally. And we don't need to maintain servers or databases everywhere. Products such as Cloud Spanner definitely contribute to our global expansion."

Vladimir Koval, Head of the Backend Platform Department, Semrush

Migration to Google Cloud has proved beneficial to Semrush. The company now offers more than 50 digital marketing tools and is used by 30% of Fortune 500 companies. The company aims to continue using Google Cloud products and is looking for new ways to achieve its goals. "As our organization grows, our project architecture will become more complex," says Koval. "That's why we'll keep exploring new Google Cloud solutions, such as Anthos Service Mesh, to help further our goals."

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Semrush

Semrush is a leading online visibility management SaaS platform that enables businesses globally to run search engine optimization, pay-per-click, content, social media and competitive research campaigns and get measurable results from online marketing.

Industries: Technology
Location: US

About Revolgy

Revolgy brings its customers cloud technologies adapted to their needs, with rapid time-to-value and smart solutions, and is a Google Cloud Partner.