About nine out of 10 search marketers say Google’s recent algorithm changes have had a significant impact on them, and about the same amount say that the rise of the mobile internet and local search are also having a significant impact.
The data comes from the SEMPO State of Search Marketing Report 2012, which was just released this week. Nearly 900 search marketers responded to this year’s survey, which was conducted online between March 12 and May 15, 2012. Survey takers represent 36 countries, with about 64 percent being in the US.
What Impacted Search Marketers Most
Whether working in an agency or in-house at a company, the respondents agreed that the two main things affecting them most are Google’s recent algorithm changes and the rise of the mobile web.
On the in-house/company side, 87 percent of respondents said a) Google’s algorithm changes, and b) increasing mobile web use have had a “significant” or “highly significant” impact. That’s well ahead of every other option in the survey.
They’re referring, no doubt, to Google’s Panda algorithm update that launched in February 2011 and has undergone numerous updates since, as well as to the Penguin update that happened in late April. It hasn’t had nearly as many updates as Panda, but Google has warned about “jolts” still to come.
The numbers are similar on the agency side, but those respondents also added local search into the mix. Here, 92 percent called mobile internet use significant (or highly significant), 87 percent said local search and 85 percent said Google’s algorithm changes. The other survey options were also voted nearly as significant — that’s likely a reflection of the broader type of projects that agency search marketers work on.
The report is filled with other industry data, perhaps the most important of which is SEMPO’s estimate on industry valuation. SEMPO and eConsultancy (which assisted with the survey) now estimate the value of the search marketing industry in North America at $22.9 billion this year, and $26.8 billion for 2013.
The survey also finds growth in marketing budgets, with 86 percent of all respondents saying they expect their digital marketing budgets to grow and only four percent expecting a decline.