Dominik M. Schwarz

Hi! 👋 I am
Dominik M. Schwarz

Entrepreneur · SEO Strategist · Scaling, Internationalization & In-house Team Building · 10+ years of management experience in start-ups & grown-ups · Industry Expert Travel-Tech · Digital Marketing, Product Innovation & Trend Analysis · Strategic Communication · Project Thinker & Passionate Implementer · Dinosaurs

Curriculum Vitae

Berlin, 2023 – to date

Founder & CEO, Stealth Mode Startup

🤫 Ssssshhh! It's secret. Really. Please check back later. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua. At vero eos et accusam et justo duo et ea rebum. And follow the white rabbit. And that's all what I can say for now.

Berlin, 2015 – 2022

Chief Inbound Officer (CIO), HomeToGo

HomeToGo, the world's largest marketplace for vacation homes & apartments, makes millions of offers around the world easy and secure to book.

500+ employees · Locations and teams in Germany, Lithuania, USA, Italy, Spain, Poland and Vietnam · 12+ Brands · 150+ million Euro VC funding · 25+ local websites · Winner Gründerszene Growth Ranking 2017 · Europe's first IPO via SPAC in 10+ years, 2021.

»... [Airbnb] has been in the driver's seat as it fundamentally transforms its industry and expectations for consumers. Airbnb brought this level of change to lodging. Hotels were once the primary option for vacationers, but small property owners have answered the call for unique and comfortable short-term rentals. [...] HomeToGo and its subsidiary is the only one offering this service exclusively and on a competitive scale.«

As Chief Inbound Officer (CIO) and part of the management team for over 7.5 years responsible for Owned & Earned Media (Organic Search & SEO, Communications & PR and Content).


  • Establishment of an innovative technology infrastructure as a basis for multi-brand/multi-market strategy
  • International SEO best case from 0 to 40 visibility points. »SEO from 2009 vs. SEO from 2019: How HomeToGo overtook Airbnb«, SISTRIX.
  • Establish a performance PR process with over 10,000 clippings per year and massive impact on search engine visibility
  • M&A and implementation of the technical & organizational integration of the SEO infrastructure, including the brands WIMDU, and Casamundo
  • Numerous international awards in the areas of Growth, Organic Search & Media Campaigning
  • 2015 among the first 20 employees, 2021 IPO on the German Stock Exchange in Frankfurt at a company valuation of more than 1.2 billion euros

Zurich, Boston, Berlin, 2012 – 2015

Director SEO Europe, KAYAK

A pioneer among meta-search engines, KAYAK revolutionized user-friendly flight search. 2012 saw its IPO and subsequent acquisition by The Priceline Group (now Booking Holdings Inc.)

As the first ever in-house SEO at KAYAK, responsible for SEO infrastructure across 35+ markets and three different brands, direct report to CTO.


  • First-time integration of SEO into production processes in the company
  • M&A: Technical integration of the SEO infrastructure of the flight search engines Swoodoo and checkfelix
  • Launch of a group-wide SEO task force with regular meetups to share knowledge between KAYAK,, Agoda, Rentalcars and OpenTable

Cologne, 2011 – 2015

Founder, Schwarz & Kollegen

Consulting for companies such as ZooRoyal, 1. FC Köln, Galeria Kaufhof, Cyberport, Fujitsu, simyo and TOOM in the field of online marketing as an independent digital marketing consultant. Implementation of own e-commerce projects.

Herford, Bielefeld, Cologne, 2005 – 2011

Head of Marketing Department, klickfreundlich GmbH

Establishment and management of the digital marketing department of the full-service web agency absofort Erfolg im Internet GmbH (Herford, Bielefeld). Accompanied the growth to one of the largest online marketing agencies at the time, the sale to the Ströer Group as klickfreundlich GmbH and the integration into the venture capital subsidiary Media Ventures.


Vertical Inhouse

In 2018, I founded Vertical Inhouse with the goal of creating an invitation-based platform exclusively for in-house SEOs. Members benefit from a weekday email briefing on relevant SEO topics and insights from the largest study to date on in-house SEO salaries, as well as in-house SEO meetups across Germany.

📬 Daily in-house SEO briefing

Hand-checked in-house SEOs receive a Vertical Inhouse invitation code and thus access to the weekday SEO Briefing. All industry news relevant to in-house SEOs is summarized succinctly via email, usually in the form of two to three links.

💶 In-house SEO salary study

Fig. 4: Vertical Inhouse SEO Salary Study
Fig. 4: Vertical Inhouse SEO Salary Study

Since 2019, I have been regularly conducting the most comprehensive salary study to date on the topic of in-house SEO salaries with Vertical Inhouse. The scientific evaluation of the questionnaires from a total of more than 1,000 participants offers detailed insights into the structures and development of SEO salaries for the first time.

📢 SMX Inhouse SEO Day

Fig. 5: First SMX In-House SEO Day, Berlin 2022
Fig. 5: First SMX In-House SEO Day, Berlin 2022

In 2022, I co-hosted and accompanied the first SMX In-House SEO Day as Program Chair and Co-Moderator. The event, which was exclusively open to in-house SEOs, was continued in 2023 as part of SMX Munich in a media partnership with Vertical Inhouse, with me again acting as Program Chair.

Lectures & Publications

📢 Lectures & Presentations

🎙 Podcasts

🖥 Webinars & Talks

📚 Publications

»It’s time to talk about how much we get paid – and it’s not about how much you know about SEO«

in »In-House SEO Success«, Simon Schnieders (Ed.)

ISBN: 978-1916883932

Expert Interview

for »The Builder's Guide to the Tech Galaxy: Mit 99 Modulen vom Start-up zum Unicorn«, Martin Schilling and Thomas Klugkist

ISBN: 978-3648157787

»SEO is a craft«

in »Mastering In-House SEO - Second edition«, Simon Schnieders (Ed.)

ISBN: 978-1916883918

»Why in-house SEO needs zu professionalize (fast)«

in »Mastering In-House SEO«, Simon Schnieders (Ed.)

ISBN: 979-8639691508

100 Laupheimer Ansichtskarten

Dominik Schwarz (Ed.), Manfred Schwarz

ISBN: 978-3000564772


Teaching & Capacity Building

Berlin & online, 2014 – to date

Deutsche Presseakademie / Quadriga Hochschule

Bild von Quadriga Media Berlin GmbH
Fig. 1: Quadriga Hochschule, Berlin

The Deutsche Presseakademie and Quadriga are private, related universities for professional development in the field of marketing and communication. Since 2014, I have been a lecturer in the area of executive education, among other things for certificate courses from the subject areas search engine marketing and SEO.

Bonn & online, 2017


SISTRIX sets the industry standard for visibility analysis. Industry experts regularly discuss the (presumed) drivers for good search engine rankings. As an expert, I have already had the opportunity to shoot videos on the topics of brand, international SEO and content as part of the SEO Talks on several occasions.

Bochum & online, 2017 – to date, akin to Netflix for digital training, offers high-quality video courses for employees at renowned companies like Otto, VW, Siemens, Beiersdorf, and Deutsche Bahn to enhance their digital skills. I teach a course on search engine optimization basics, which is the third-highest rated marketing course on the platform.

Berlin & NRW, 2010 – 2011

Digitale Chancen e.V.

In the name and on behalf of the Berlin based Digitale Chancen e.V., under the auspices of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, I conducted the Internet erfahren training courses for full-time and voluntary multipliers in social work and informal education.

People with a migration background, people with disabilities, senior citizens, people in rural areas, and educationally and socially disadvantaged adults and young people benefit from the trainers' new knowledge.

Advisory Roles

Occasionally and under certain conditions I am available for advisory roles. I provide ad hoc advice on growth and scaling strategies, building in-house SEO teams, SEO internationalization, and digital marketing due diligence in the context of M&A.

Angel investor

As an angel investor, I occasionally invest in startups and support entrepreneurs monetarily as well as with expertise in the areas of digital marketing, product development, growth, internationalization and business strategy.


Fig. 1: HomeToGo wins the »In-House Team of the Year« Award. Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, 2018
Fig. 1: HomeToGo wins the »In-House Team of the Year« Award. Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, 2018

🏆 Won

🏅 Nominated

Interests & Projects

I also love projects outside of my job. Here is a best of.

Laupheim postcards

My father Manfred Schwarz has been collecting historical postcards of his and my hometown Laupheim for over 30 years. Years of digitizing these roughly thousand contemporary documents, many of them older than 100 years, have opened up the possibility of making our archive accessible to interested people from all over the world since 2012.

Reproductions from our collection are on display at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York and and the Museum zur Geschichte von Christen und Juden, Laupheim, among others.

A comprehensive coffee-table book entitled 100 Laupheimer Ansichtskarten was self-published in 2017 and sold out within weeks.

In 1998, at the age of 13, I started a website about gerbils to finally use the internet not only passively. In the early 2000s, became one of the biggest German pet portals. 100+ million page views (organic), 2.5+ million forum posts by users, TV reports, 150+ professional articles created by an editorial team, 10+ page relaunches, at least three weddings within the community, thousands of photo calendars & stuffed animals sold, numerous awards for child friendliness. Andreas Diendorfer has been instrumental in the success since 2001, and the portal still exists today.

Fig. 4: Archaeological find, ca. 1998

The XXL world map

For several years I've been looking for a printed world map in XXL format, which at the same time has a maximum high resolution, i.e. also shows small cities. Unfortunately unsuccessful - so I realized the world map end-to-end myself. Result: viral on Reddit, #1 on Hackernews & a c't article with reader letter record.

Dinosaur emoji

The year is 2016: There are five different chicken emoji, but none that show a dinosaur. This annoys me and I start researching how emoji actually get onto 2.5 billion cell phones. My extensive proposal is actually accepted by the Unicode Consortium and brings the real emoji (not the T-Rex) into the official canon. Media like the Washington Post and the Süddeutsche Zeitung report, natural history museums around the world are thrilled, and as a lifelong dinosaur fan, I am too.

Trip to Chernobyl

Prypyat, a small town not far from the Chernobyl reactor, is the stuff of dystopian dreams and a lasting memorial to humanity My visit was a terrifying and tensely impressive journey to a place where, in 1986, the clocks stopped forever.

Zero Gravity Flight

Weightlessness like in space can be simulated on earth: in an (empty) airplane that flies up and down in a parabolic shape. During each dive, there is a phase of about 30 seconds during which zero gravity prevails. A special experience.

Trip to North Korea

During a trip through largely isolated North Korea, a fascinating photo album was created that not only documents the leader cult and its accompanying phenomena, but also offers tiny glimpses into the less spectacular areas of North Korean everyday life. The diary made it to the Reddit Front Door.

»Viral hit«: cancelling my teleco provider

In 2012, I find myself in a Kafkaesque service nightmare when I try unsuccessfully for months to cancel my Telekom contract. With the help of an infographic, I make the process public in a friendly and humorous way, it goes viral and within a few days over 500,000 people are reading along. Stern, Spiegel, Handelsblatt, 1Live and many others reported on it, and I was still being asked about it years later. Deutsche Telekom still has my case in its training documents today - and me as a customer again.


Last, but certainly not least:

(Natural) history collection

Fig. 1: »Wow, who knew you could learn so much at a museum?« — Peter Griffin
Fig. 1: »Wow, who knew you could learn so much at a museum?« — Peter Griffin

Dinosaur teeth and mammoth hair, a brick from a ghost town with an underground fire, a prehistoric armadillo and metal that melts at body temperature. A cannonball and a piece of space shuttle, a wax heart for a very special purpose and a bathroom tile with history.

(Natural) history collections have inspired me for as long as I can remember and my own »museum« includes many hundreds of individual pieces.


Fig. 1: »How difficult can SEO be?«
Fig. 1: »How difficult can SEO be?«

The most important project in my life: my family. I live in Berlin Friedrichshain with my wonderful wife and our daughters born in 2020 and 2022.


Testimonials at each pageload in random order. The job titles of my industry peers, colleagues, managers, customers, partners and friends correspond to the respective positions they held at the time they wrote their testimonial. Thank you all so much!


Send me an email and introduce yourself. I love to meet people from all over the world. There is no need to ask a question. Just tell me where you are and what you are working on. I will reply to any message.

[email protected]
Phone, Signal, WhatsApp:
+49 171 526 407 5
Mailing address:
Dominik Schwarz
℅ Dominik Schwarz Ventures GmbH
Schreinerstrasse 32a
DE-10247 Berlin
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