Ahrefs founder and CEO Dmytro Gerasymenko called out Semrush despite the latter’s message of concern for the victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
Semrush posted a tweet in February, stating their opposition against the war. The company also declared their identity as a “US-company with operations across the globe.”
Gerasymenko responded with a screenshot of Semrush’s employee statistics and corporate organizational chart, with both information revealing the company’s more than 600 Russian employees and its connection with its Russian-based headquarters.
Gerasymenko, who has Ukrainian heritage, accused Semrush of supporting the Russian state through its taxes. He also challenged them to recall their “Russian origins.”
Semrush began in 2012 with co-founders Oleg Shchegolev and Dmitry Melnikov who are both from Russia. According to a statement released by the company’s Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Warden in March, both founders relocated to the US in 2017 and the company is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
“We strongly oppose this war,” Warden said. “Virtually everyone at Semrush has family and colleagues in Ukraine and Russia, all of whom love and care deeply for one another.”
Since March, Ahrefs has now blocked access from Russia and Belarus in solidarity with the sanctions imposed on these states as a response to the conflict.
“We are standing up and not looking away,” the company tweeted. “When all of us take our stand, that is when it will stop.”
Both Ahrefs and Semrush operate as an SEO tool that helps online marketers enhance their content and website’s search engine rankings.