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The Product

UpCity was founded in 2009 by search engine optimizers Patrick Gavin and Andy Hagans. The UpCity application aims to guide small businesses throw the process of optimizing their website for improved search engine rankings. By presenting small business owners and website managers with a well-rounded tutorial of action steps and tasks, UpCity provides an affordable option for small businesses who do not have a budget for a high-priced dedicated SEO consultant.

The product aims to simplify the complicated and quickly changing world of search engine optimization. It provides a curriculum of tasks targeted at making improvements to a business’s search engine rankings for specific keywords. Users are presented with a checklist of to-do items, and gives instructions about how to accomplish each. After a task is completed, UpCity will analyze the user’s website, and verify that the task was done correctly. Users are also able to monitor improvements in their website’s search engine rankings in order to gauge the effectiveness of their efforts.

Having worked together on development efforts in the past, Patrick approached Cramer Development with the idea for UpCity. After listening to his vision for the product, we joined forces to build his idea into a reality. We began development efforts in June 2009 and culminated in a public launch in 2010. UpCity was immediately a success, receiving a large amount of publicity in its first week. Since the public launch, Cramer Development has been integral in ongoing efforts to improve the UpCity application and contribute to it’s ongoing success.

The Code

At first glance, UpCity is simply a To-Do list comprised of categorized SEO best practices. However, behind the list is a smorgasbord of background workers and recurring tasks, each responsible for synthesizing raw, diverse sets of data, with hard-won SEO knowledge – all towards the goal of guiding business owners towards a #1 spot in Google.

The web application runs on a Rails stack in Rackspace’s hybrid cloud, but Gearman workers are UpCity’s maestros. They orchestrate dozens of automated analyses, and form the backbone of both the SEO Report Card, and the Local SEO Report Card. Their specialties range from measuring the time it takes to load a business’s home page to comparing a business’s back-links to those of its competitors. They double-check canonical domains, and ensure local businesses can be found on Yelp.

To make it all work, we’ve written and refined tailor-made API clients, and analyzed millions of web pages and search keywords.

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