Blue Plover Featured in "Nashville Post," Nashville's Premier Business Publication

Nashville Tech Start-up Wants to Change the Way We Search

Blue Plover completes funding round, rebrands, preps expansion


There's a story told about the blue plover — sometimes known as the Egyptian plover.

The bird, the tale goes, sits in the mouths of crocodiles, cleaning the teeth of the mighty beast. The story dates back to Herodotus and is referenced as an example of symbiosis in grade schools and repeated in National Geographic.

Here's the thing, though: It's not true — at least so far as ornithologists can determine. It's just a nice story, repeated by large, well-known authorities, so everyone accepts it as gospel. It's a bit ironic, then, that SyndIt Global chose to reference that story when it rebranded as Blue Plover this year.

Ironic because the company aims to connect consumers and businesses through credible, local sources and not faceless arbiters. (Yelp, for example, is our 21st-century Herodotus here.)

"We're developing hyperlocal online communities: businesses and media companies in a community to work together to provide the consumer with highest-quality, most up-to-date information that's accountable," co-founder Adrian Larrea said. "The whole goal behind this is to let businesses get their information out efficiently and cost effectively and help consumers find the most information they can."

In that way, it is a lot like Yelp. Larrea said the goal is that when someone searches for, say, "sports bar," Google will drive them to a Blue Plover partner — for example, our sister pub Nashville Scene — instead of to Yelp, because people on the ground in Nashville naturally offer more credible information about a local bar than does a website run out of San Francisco.

"We want people to know that there is a tech company in Nashville focused on large scale, super-local, organic web building. we meet with people and collect information," Larrea said. "We want our platform penetrate everything."

Blue Plover offers free listings to businesses — around 1,500 in Middle Tennessee are already in the system — that it then feeds to its media partners. Paid listings offer more information and more customization and, again different from national competitors, a human representative that can guide less tech-savvy business owners through murky and misunderstood waters.

"It's easier to be a national site like Yelp, but you can't make phone calls. There are no local people to talk to or complain to. There's no one to change the listing if it's not up to date," he said.

And if a company gets ravaged with undeserved bad reviews on Yelp, it can harm the bottom line "dramatically long-term."

"We're doing it the organic way, giving people a long-term, long-tail, sustainable web presence. It's so much more work and takes more resources but the final outcome is a million times better than you can get from a single site," Larrwa said. "It's not easy. we have to deal with all kinds of people. Not everyone is educated in the same way, so we have to teach people what Google is looking for. It's much more about education. For a lot of businesses, word of mouth has been what's always worked for them. But word of mouth has changed."

The standard model for search engine optimization has been to use keywords to drive a web site up Google's rankings, but the end product is a results page driven more by which companies had the most money to spend on SEO. Blue Plover wants to help consumers connect to the right results (which, in turn, helps its business clients) and is focusing on newer search methods, like conversational search, which is on the rise, in part, because of innovations like Apple's Siri. Google wants people to search like they talk, not like a robot talks, and Blue Plover wants its clients to reap the reward.

The company recently completed a six-figure funding round, is in the midst of more than doubling its employee base and expanding to new markets, like Cincinnati, through its media partners — which include SouthComm, the parent company of the Nashville Post.

And, eventually, Blue Plover hopes to change what the Internet can be.

"The Internet is great for finding information about history, people, science," Larrea said. "The Internet is not great for finding local content and information about local businesses. We want to organize that."

 

"Blue Plover is the best online connector and distributor of the local information we are creating and need to share."

- Gary Ashton
The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Elite

Don't Just Take Our Word For It

Nashville tech start-up wants to change the way we search – Nashville Post - Click here to read
How a Nashville Startup wants to be the go-to company for hyperlocal content. – Nashville Business Journal - Click here to read