Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Most of the companies exhibiting Wednesday at the PubCon convention at the Las Vegas Convention Center are unknown to the general public.
But together, these companies help form the backbone of the online economy by providing services and tools that help businesses better market their brands and sell their products.
The nearly 50 exhibitors at PubCon covered a wide range of Internet services, from website design to search engine optimization. Some offer training for people looking to stay up on the latest trends in online marketing while others offer tools to help businesses measure the reach of their online and social media presence.
Here’s a look at six companies on display at PubCon and the different services they provide:
Textbroker is an article-writing service that creates content for websites, including blog posts, press releases and white papers, all with an eye on search engine visibility.
Spokeswoman Christina Zila said many businesses don’t have the time or language skills to write effective content for their websites, which is where Textbroker steps in to lend a hand.
“When a website designer writes, it’s in code, not in English,” she said. “We write the words for the website.”
Textbroker employs about 35 people at its Las Vegas production office, with another office on the East Coast.
Video content can be a useful way to draw in and inform website readers, but such content often is difficult and expensive to produce. Grab Media aims to make video content widely available on the web by syndicating and distributing short-form videos to its network of client websites.
“Video is where it’s at. People don’t read as much anymore,” said spokeswoman Samantha Dascher.
Grab Media offers more than 800,000 videos for use by its subscribers on a range of topics, including travel, technology, gaming, business news, celebrity gossip and cooking.
Billed as a “spam-free search engine,” Blekko offers an innovative take on surfing the web and is an alternative to Internet search giants such as Google and Microsoft’s Bing.
The company uses algorithms and librarians to curate content, providing more helpful search results to users, spokesman Stephen Burns said.
“The web is 99 percent spam,” he said. “There’s a lot of garbage out there. We want to simplify search and make it spam-free.”
Unlike other major search providers, Blekko offers users an increased level of privacy by destroying user search data after 48 hours.
SurveyMonkey allows users to create surveys and distribute them through their websites, Facebook or email. It also offers tools to analyze and share the collected survey data.
“We’re democratizing the process of collecting information,” said Sheila Gravy, a marketing and program manager with the company.
The service can be used to create surveys on any topic but has proven especially popular among businesses and colleges, Gravy said.
Incisive Media was exhibiting a trio of educational services that help professionals learn the basics of online marketing and stay on top of shifting trends in the industry.
“There’s always something new happening,” spokesman German Chavez said. “It’s such a competitive field that you have to stay on top of your game.
The company’s ClickZ Academy offers online-based courses covering search engine optimization, social media, email marketing and web analytics.
It also runs an industry news website called Search Engine Watch and hosts the annual SES Conference for marketing and advertising professionals.
Avalaunch Media specializes in designing elaborate infographics for the web that companies can use to promote their business.
“It’s a better way of displaying information,” said Chief Operating Officer Jason Coulam. “People are visual beings.”
Avalaunch focuses on making its content engaging and highly shareable in hopes that it will go viral and be seen by millions of people.