SEO Industry Is Getting Mature
March 04, 2008
As a result of some factors that have
recently changed the SEO landscape, many experts took the stand that
the time for establishing a set of industry standards is approaching.
In his post on Search Engine Land,
Paul J Bruemmer, director of search marketing at Red Door
Interactive, discussed the obstacles to standardization as well as
the signs of SEO industry maturity.
A possible reason that reduces the
motivation for creation of standards is the usage of “black-hat”
SEO techniques. They can be defined as: breaking the search engine's
stated rules and regulations; creating a poor user experience
directly because of the black hat SEO techniques utilized on the
Website; unethically presented content in a different visual or
non-visual way to search engine spiders and search engine users.
The good news here
is that according to Matt Cutts a lot of black-hat SEO companies
either went out of business or have transformed into white-hat SEO
companies. “The search engine optimization industry has made a lot
of progress in the last few years. It’s a little less common to get
cold calls from SEOs that guarantee #1 rankings but won’t tell you
how they try to do it.”
In addition to black-hat techniques
another obstacle for establishing SEO standards is the wide variance
in range of services offered by SEM firms. Apart from SEO and PPC
these companies also provide online marketing services such as e-mail
marketing, search marketing, media buying and so on.
spite of the drawbacks, some facts point that the industry is
maturing. Bruemmer claimed that although the ongoing changes occur
rapidly, the saturation point is coming and the growth begins to slow
down. According to the annual industry survey conducted by the Search
Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) $9.4 billion were spent on search engine marketing (SEM) in 2006,
which is 62 percent increase over 2005. SEMPO researchers also
estimate SEM spending to double by 2011. SEMPO's report for 2007 is
not out yet, but industry experts believe that growth is slowing due
to marketing saturation and maturity.
Another sign of
industry maturity is the growth in search engine marketing training
programs. Two big conferences like SMX and SES have been held. A
number of organizations offer certificates for completion of online
and offline search marketing courses like the SEMPO Institute Search
Engine Marketing courses and the DMA Search Engine Marketing Certification Program.
These facts also indicate that the time for establishing common
search marketing standards is near.
all this mean that the discussed idea for the creation of common
search marketing standards could be realized?
is one thing that is for sure: the establishment of SEO rules for
behavior and techniques will have a positive impact on the industry
reputation and will assist in overcoming the bad practices.
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