NerdyData is expanding Internet search in a dynamic way—through the source code

By Editor August 20, 2013
NerdyData logo

NerdyData logoA Q&A with NerdyData co-founder David Bielik. The New York City-based startup, which has built a website source code search engine, launched to the public in late July. It was founded in 2012.

SUB: Please describe NerdyData and your primary innovation.

Bielik: NerdyData is a new type of search engine with new results. We can search the source of millions of websites, whereas traditional search engines only search the visible text on a site. This opens up a whole new world of search when you can find real websites with certain HTML elements, CSS styles, Javascript libraries or even hidden scripts. After you find your results, download a large list of the matches. All of this can be done in seconds.

SUB: Who are your target markets and users?

Bielik: Our target market is SEO firms looking for insight into which domains have certain meta content, code libraries or other snippets of source code. We have many tools, like a keyword research engine, different ways to fingerprint your competition, or easily compare how frequently a term or phrase appears across the web. For example, if you or your competition uses a particular code, like a Google Analytics account ID, or a Javascript library, you can easily download the list of domains that match your unique query. If you want to make more granular searches, our Refine Tool can search, for example, websites that contain ‘legal advice’ AND ‘law firm,’ but do not contain the words ‘responsive’ or ‘jQuery.js.’

SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?

Bielik: No one does what we do. Our closest competitors monitor specific code libraries, or index ‘offline’ code repositories. We find unique phrases within the source code, and will return real domains that match. We’re sort of a cross between an SEO research tool and a marketing lead generation tool, with a hint of nerdy programming languages.

SUB: What differentiates NerdyData from the competition?

Bielik: Two things: 1.) you can search raw source code of real websites, not just pre-parsed tags or offline code projects; and 2.) we offer unique and easy-to-use search interfaces for non-technical users, and we have plans to keep adding new products and features. We understand that source code can be overwhelming, so we’re trying to bridge that gap for the non-technical folks and use this to our advantage.

SUB: When was the company founded, and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?

Bielik: We had much of our infrastructure for quite a while, but really started dedicating lots of time towards this project around last year. There was one day where we decided to make the idea a reality and really went all out with planning and non-stop coding—and lots of coffee. Being a really fun project definitely helped us too.

SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for NerdyData? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?

Bielik: We were looking for a way to track unique backlinks, and see what websites shared a unique piece of code. There was no way we could easily and efficiently search the source code of the entire Internet—manually checking was too painful. The ‘aha’ moment was probably when we realized that it didn’t already exist, and then realized we had most of the resources we would need. It was definitely an inspiring ‘aha’ moment.

SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story or meaning behind it?

Bielik: We had a hard time picking a trendy name, like ‘,’ or ‘NerdyDa.ta.’ So, we put some names in a hat and this combination stuck.

SUB: You recently launched to the public—why was this a particularly good time to launch?

Bielik: We received really great feedback and saw our hard work paying off after we decided to give out logins to a few friends and companies, for beta testing. We did some more updates and tweaks and decided, what better time to launch than now. It’s also funny how, before we started making sales, some of the most useful advice came from trolls on the Internet. You gotta pay that troll toll!

SUB: Have you raised outside funding to this point?

Bielik: No, thankfully our overhead is relatively low, but it’ll be inevitable as we continue to grow at the rate we’re going. We’re constantly improving and scaling our systems and we’re thinking up some great ideas to expand in the near future. We may even spend more money on food and drinks throughout the month than on servers.

SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?

Bielik: That whole ‘24 hours in a day’ thing sometimes feels restricting. Truthfully, our biggest challenge is getting everyone to use and appreciate all the different ways our service can be leveraged. But that’s something we’re actively working on, and not to sound cliché, but we really do consider it an opportunity more than an obstacle.

SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?

Bielik: We provide monthly subscriptions, and a free ‘basic’ plan. Our premium subscribers get to download their results in large data sets. They also get access to our refining tool which allows for more advanced searching.

We’ve also had great success generating customized reports for clients. There’s so many ways to query our data, and by offering more customized queries we provide data tailored to a specific client or industry: “Find all websites that have ‘analytics’ in the title tag, ‘big data’ in the meta description, use Google Analytics and Adsense. Exclude all sites that use WordPress and flash objects.”

SUB: What are your goals for NerdyData over the next year or so?

Bielik: We have so many great ideas, but they all deal with new features and expansion. We are dead-set on increasing our index and crawling more webpages. This will be a massive project but a worthwhile investment. In addition to scaling our code index, we’re also planning to expand our team soon by hiring another coder, a network architect, a marketing and sales guru, a cloning machine, and a personal chef—in that order.

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