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History of Company

We have provided some information for visitors regarding the history of our company from our early foundations to the current date. This page provides the background to our early innovations within the online job advertising space and in particular illustrates our continued development and evolvement within the jobs sector that contributed into making Red Advertising the company that it is today.


From an early beginning...

By Richard Clarke (founding Director)

During October 2003 our first job board the generalist site Redgoldfish Jobs was launched on the internet. The site had simple design functionality and a brand that was different to competitor sites.

The Directors knew that because of their background in search engine optimisation the name Redgoldfish could be made to be synonymous with “Job search” as far as all the major search engines would be concerned and, that it would be easier for job seekers to recall the site and remember it once the brand was established.

The theme also meant that we could do more effective memorable off line marketing campaigns and the site would secure a more stable following in the long term rather than just relying on search engine traffic from SEO and SEM methods and traffic from other online sites and portals.

We continually worked on the website and built relationships with other sites on the internet that would associate with us over a long period of time. The website then started gaining strong traction within the market place.

By April 2004 our team had established a number of good websites on the internet to associate with and secure links from. During the rest of the year and into 2005 we continued building quality unique site content and relationships with websites that would help promote our brand further.

After the New Year of January 2005 the generalist site had over 71,000 job adverts and was working with a number of different sized recruitment agencies. At this point a number of accounts were still on a free posting or low cost basis. Our emphasis to this point had been more about establishing a position within the market and gaining strong traction with job seekers, rather than trying to achieve high levels of profitability.

During 2005 we continued to work on our platform and turn all advertisers into paying clients. Meanwhile we continued to work on both our online and offline marketing and by July 2005 we were attracting over 400,000 jobseeker visits a month (c.230,000 uniques) who were carrying out over 1 million job search requests.

Despite our success with the generalist site we knew that we wanted to extend our reach even further for our clients. We wanted to expand on the target areas where advertising demand was higher.

As a result of further research we started buying some smaller industry specific jobs boards and building additional trade specific websites with the long term view of establishing them in the same way we had done with Redgoldfish, eventually bringing them together under one platform to offer recruiters the ultimate coverage on both generalist and niche job boards.

August 2005 saw the launch of our first trade specific websites built, Construction Jobs Now a dedicated site to the construction industry along with Accountancy Jobs Board a dedicated niche site for Accountants.

These niche job board sites were quickly followed during the September and October of the year with the further roll out of Secretarial Jobs Board and Engineering Jobs Now.

Because of the experience we had in the market we knew that it was going to take a number of years for the new niche boards to establish themselves and independently gain strong traction in the market. It was going to be a continual uphill climb constantly working on building the business to get where we wanted to be on our long term business plan.

November 2005 saw job seeker visitors and interest at the generalist site increasing even higher and we were fully focused on driving the business forward. A number of promotions were offered to attract new recruiters and advertisers to the business and because we could support these clients with a good return on their advertising investment we were able to start focusing more on income and profitability levels for the company.

During February 2006 we rolled out a further niche job board, Legal Jobs board, which is dedicated to employment in the legal professions to add to our current stable of niche job boards. We followed this with some further trade specific job boards for sales, retail, catering, IT and a further generalist job site dedicated to the region of Scotland.

We continued building on our various platforms during the whole of 2006 improving relationships with clients, adding new accounts and improving the overall income and profitability of the business in line with our business plan.

The year ended on a good note with some improved financial trading figures for our year end to November 2006 and solid bases built for expansion during 2007.

In February 2007 our business underwent a complete restructure. One of the shareholders was brought out and we were involved in a fund raising initiative to secure additional development capital to take the business to the next level.

During March 2007 our corporate advisors assisted us with a strategic review of the business going forward. This led to the introduction of “Red Advertising” being used as the main brand name to encompass all job board trading activities going forward and from this moment the company was officially known as Red Advertising Ltd.

Previously we had used this brand behind some of our earlier sites individually but it was now to become better promoted and at the forefront of our company. Work also commenced on building a new technology platform to promote all the job sites and provide advertisers with a total solution all under the one facility.

The review also highlighted that a continued focus on measured advertising formats for clients such as PPC (pay Per Click) was proving popular. It didn’t matter to a certain extent how advertising was sold whether it was fixed price, by the click on applications etc as long as the metric used to establish the rate had taken into account the true cost of marketing, expenses and traffic acquisition, had a good level of profit margin built in and the client perceived that the solution had produced added value.

The popularity of PPC products was encouraging and provided a simplistic base to ensure we were receiving the maximum return for our efforts whilst delivering a strong quantifiable advertising solution for our clients.

By June 2007 business was progressing well. We were delighted to conclude our fund raising activities and had successfully raised further capital to assist towards our continual development and marketing initiatives. We continued to work on the existing individual sites in addition to the new platform and looked at ways to improve our services to clients further to ensure that the new platform launch was going to provide the ultimate candidate sourcing solution.

In July 2007 we appointed Hot Lizard to support us as technology partners after an extensive review of the technology companies that could support us with advancing job board technologies. It was important to us not to simply appoint a company that had experience of solutions of the job board sector but to work with a technology partner that could help us integrate all of our existing job board properties, some of our acquired properties and some of our other sites into the one promotional platform.

Back end reporting technology was also vitally important and we wanted to ensure that what worked well on our existing properties was included within the new promotional platform build coupled with improved functionality that could be rolled out across all sites. Hot Lizard had previous experience of designing job sites such as the one for the Telegraph newspaper Jobs classified area and they demonstrated significant experience in the back end technology design side and were able to operate with us on a bespoke basis to work towards our desired goal. It was vitally important to us that our facility used by clients and back end reporting was considered to be top draw “best of breed” and that our technology partner could work with us to a high standard.

This appointment marked the start of the long road to technical integration of all of our jobs board properties under the one platform and significant progress was starting to be made. We knew that it would be a Herculean achievement to get a network project this large live within the time frame outlined within the business plan with every site fully integrated to the required standard but with high levels of support from our technical partners we were confident in reaching the required goals.

A primary factor that had to be considered in the planning of our roll out was that many of our older jobs boards and some of the recent jobs board acquisitions had to have their back end technology updated so that all sites followed the same advanced reporting and functionality formats. In some cases this meant significant additional programming work being undertaken to specific sites.

By September 2007 significant programming and integration work had been well underway since the end of July and significant progress was being made. We were moving at a significantly faster rate with the support of HL than we had been previously under our own steam.

November 2007 was the month that we concluded the acquisition of Job Store, the specialist Catering and Hospitality job site and this further strengthened our coverage within this sector. It married perfectly with our existing Catering Jobs Board property and also had some synergies with our leisure Jobs now site.

It was also the month that we agreed to sign up to ABC electronic and gave a commitment that we would agree to at least two candidate traffic audits a year. We believe in total transparency of our candidate reach for our advertisers and as such decided that we would be working to ensure that over time every job board under our control would be audited to industry standards.

January 2008 was the start of our first abc audit. We included 7 of our sites to start with and scheduled the second Audit for the July of the same year.

During February 2008 we decided to appoint Dedipower for our managed hosting requirements. The advanced network had outgrown our facilities at Rackspace and we needed a significantly larger server cluster arrangement to cope with faster response times with the capacity to deal with ever increasing request search volumes.

Whilst rackspace was able to offer the advanced services we required their “fanatical service” was proving to be not so “fanatical” as we had hoped and had previously enjoyed, service response times were poor and subsequently we had to replace them with a provider that could deliver to a higher standard.

During this month we also decided that we would get more actively involved with the Job board community as a whole and agreed to support the Onrec awards. The awards event was held in the March 2008 and recognised the “Best of Breed” developments in the industry during the 2007 year. By the end of 2008 we had agreed with onrec to become the official ongoing main sponsors of the “Offline Marketing Award” and would continue being involved with it. The next event was going to be in the March 2009 which we again fully supported to recognise offline marketing from online media players who were leading the way during the previous year.

During June 2008 we increased the number of sites audited by ABC electronic to 9 and started working to ensure that the other sites under our control would be presented in the correct format to be included in future audits.

By August 2008 the advanced platform and some of the existing sites back end technologies that were being worked on with our technology partners were starting to be beta tested behind the scenes and we were confident that we would be in a position for everything including all the advancements to be live by the year end.

During October 2008 we concluded a partnership with Home learning College where we could offer home study courses to job seeker visitors to our network and we rolled out a dedicated website for this, www.homelearning.info within our facility. HLC were one of a number of course providers that we negotiated with and the terms of the deal were beneficial to us over other arrangements and they could deliver to high standards.

This arrangement was a good partnership deal for our business as we could offer the additional services hence producing an additional revenue stream to the business, whilst maintaining full control over our own specific website property within our network that was designed for this purpose.

To be continued….

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