As expected, SEMPO, has rung the bell at the NASDAQ yesterday morning. You can see the full release and several pictures at the NASDAQ release. Dana Todd, Chairperson of the Board of Directors for SEMPO, presided over the Opening Bell at NASDAQ yesterday morning. Congrats to SEMPO and congrats to the search marketing industry! [...]


SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, has been invited to ring the opening bell at NASDAQ headquarters in Times Square on December 1st. There doesn't seem to be a news release about it yet, but SEMPO's Dave Williams shared all the details on SEMPO's Facebook group: "SEMPO was recognized by NASDAQ as being highly influential in the tech community, and you have the opportunity to be there on this historic day. Our chairperson, Dana Todd will be on hand to represent SEMPO at the opening, and would love to have local members join us for this exciting event." RSVPs are [...] Sues iCrossing For Poaching Clients & Employees Sues Rival Over Clients from the Wall Street Journal reports that is suing iCrossing for allegedly trying to hire employees and steal their clients. is specifically suing for breach of contract, tortuous interference and conspiring to misappropriate proprietary information and trade secrets. They are seeking $19.5 million in damages from iCrossing. Furthermore, is blaming iCrossing for the closing of their Dallas office and the "decimation of the firm's Chicago office." The Wall Street Journal reports that depositions lead Agency.c [...]

Google Hosting Live Chat Event & SEMPO’s First SEM Debate

This Thursday, June 19th at 5pm (EST), Google will be hosting their second live chat session for webmasters. The first event, which took place in March, turned out to be a pretty big success. To register for the event, go here and click on the "register" link on the left hand side of the page - you won't want to miss it. SEMPO is hosting the "Great SEMPO NY Debate" at Stitch in New York on 247 West 37th Street. The event is tomorrow at 6:30pm on Wednesday, June 18th. The topic of discussion is, "Which is the best way to manage search engine marketing, In-House or Agency?" To register fo [...]

SEMPO Institute Now Offering Agency Training Certification

The SEMPO Institute, a training division of SEMPO, is now offering agency training certification. The certification basically is a seal of satisfactory completion of their course work. SEMPO Institute is offering Gold Seal level certification and Platinum Seal level certification. Gold Level requires that 20% to 49% of their search marketing employees graduate from a course. The Platinum Seal level is for 50% or more employee participation and certification. It costs $250 to apply and is valid for one year. SEMPO circle members get the application fee waived. SEMPO Chairman Dana Todd sa [...]

One Day You’re Optimized, The Next Day You’re A Spammer

It is no secret that human review has been playing a bigger role at Google over the past couple years. And we are emotional beings... no matter how logical the guidelines may be, emotions cause human errors. But not all sites that get penalized are penalized in error. Many deserve it. Sadly, Google's guidelines for its "remote quality raters," people who are paid by Google to help with quality control, are clearer than the public guidelines for webmasters. Why? Google is using these remote quality raters as an effective and efficient piece of the relevancy algorithm. When spam is good eno [...]

We Don’t Need SEO Standards!

Last month I attended the SMX West session in Santa Clara entitled Is it Time for Search Marketing Standards? It was an interesting session, but I wasn't really sure where I stood on the issue at the time. Now that I've had a few weeks to think about it, I've come to the conclusion that not only would it be impossible to come up with standards that most would be happy with, I strongly believe that we don't need them at all. I have long been a proponent of performing SEO in such a way that satisfies all stakeholders, i.e., the client, the search engines, and the internet as a whole. My fee [...]

Are You An Agency SEM Pro? Take SEMPO’s Salary Survey

SEMPO is undertaking a salary survey of agency search engine marketing professionals, similar to its in-house SEM salary survey that we reported on in January. If you're an agency SEM pro, SEMPO would like to hear from you, whether you're a SEMPO member or not. To qualify for the survey, you must: Work at an agency devoted solely to SEM, or Work at an agency with an SEM branch or division, or Work at an agency that offers SEM in its mix of services Ready to go? Take the SEMPO agency search engine marketer salary survey today. [...]

SEMPO Announces New 2008 Board of Directors

SEMPO has announced the 2008 Board of Directors that will take office on March 12, 2008. The board of directors includes: Chris Boggs, SEO Manager, eMergent Marketing / Brulant, Inc.Jessica Bowman, In-House SEO ExpertMassimo Burgio, Global Search Expert, Global Search InteractiveBruce Clay, President, Bruce Clay, Inc. Dave Fall, VP Product Management - Search Technology, DoubleClick, Inc. Duane Forrester, Senior Program Manager, MicrosoftSara Holoubek, Free Agent ConsultantGord Hotchkiss, President, Enquiro Search Solutions, Inc. Bill Hunt, CEO, Global Strategies International Ron Jones, Pr [...]

A Bad Month For SEO’s Reputation

We seem to be going through another wave of "SEOs are scumbags" incidents, and I find myself with little energy to push back against them with yet another defense of the industry. It's not that SEO doesn't deserve better treatment. It's just that I feel anything I could say, I've said before -- as have others as well. But below, a round-up of some of the latest developments, including a podcast defense of SEO that I did after Jeremy "Shoemoney" Schoemaker gave SEO some slams. On January 7, Tech 'Solutions' Your Small Biz Can't Use from Gene Marks in BusinessWeek is what [...]

SEMPO State Of SEM Survey, SEOmoz Industry Survey, & SEMMYS Need Your Help

There are three surveys underway right now for the search engine marketing industry looking for participation. SEMPO and SEOmoz are both running surveys to collect data on the search marketing industry, while the SEMMYS are a more fun look at search marketing articles up for awards. SEMPO's 2007 State of the Market Survey is open and taking your responses up until February 1st. SEMPO's surveys are used throughout the industry and beyond by analysts, editors, internally by SEM companies, and more. You can win an iPhone and free tickets to an SES event if you complete the survey. Please ma [...]

The Nominees Are In For SEMPO’s 2008 Board Of Directors

Bill Hartzer has the scoop on the 33 individuals who are on the nominee list for SEMPO's board of directors of 2008. Thirteen of the nominees will be elected to be on the board of directors for a two-year period. The voting process is internal and will begin on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 at 5 PM GMT (12 PM ET) and will close on Friday, February 15, 2008 at 10 PM GMT (5 PM ET). Here is a list of those nominees: Anderson, Damien, of Blowfish Digital Limited Berkowitz, Jay, of Ten Golden Rules Blankenship, Lindsay, of Avenue A | Razorfish Boggs, Chris, of eMergent Marketing Bowman, Jessica, [...]

Search & Interactive Marketing Associations List

Lee Odden is compiling a list of regional search and interactive marketing associations and is asking for your help. He currently has over 25 on the list, but I am sure there are a lot more. If you know of any he is missing, comment at his blog and let's help him compile the ultimate list! [...]

Microsoft Launches adCenter Accreditation: adExcellence

Microsoft has announced the launch of adExcellence, their accreditation program to qualify companies and individuals as certified adCenter experts. Microsoft promised to launch this program in 2007, and they did so with a month to spare. To enroll in Microsoft adExcellence, visit If you become an adExcellence accredited company, you will be listed in the adExcellence Membership Directory and will receive an adExcellence logo. Also see Are You Endorsed By The Search Engines?, which covers similar and long-standing programs offered by Google and Yahoo. [...]

Are You Endorsed By The Search Engines?

Each of the major search engines has a certification program that an individual or agency can use to show their accreditation status to prospective clients. While it takes a bit of time and effort to achieve accreditation with Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, there are several important ways in which these certifications can be used, and all have payoffs for those willing to go the extra distance. The first, and most obvious, is to showcase your company to prospective clients. Being able to claim that your analysts have been certified by Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft is a strong point to e [...]

IAB & DMA Launched UK’s First Search Marketing Best Practices Charter

The IAB UK and DMA UK have released the UK's first code of conduct for search marketing firms. Companies that want to earn the IAB UK's accreditation must comply with 4 specific criteria. At least two employees dedicated to search marketing They must have search engine accreditation from Google or Microsoft and have proof of official SEO trainingThe company must have been trading for 6 monthsThe company must be a member of either IAB UK, IAB Europe, DMA or Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organisation (SEMPO) or the Association of Business to Business Agencies (ABBA). Guy Phillipson [...]

SEMPO Opens Advanced Search Advertising Course

SEMPO has announced their third training course, Advanced Search Advertising, is now live. Advanced Search Advertising consists of 13 lessons: An Evolving Opportunity, PPC Models, Keywords & Campaign, Copywriting for Ads, Bidding & Ranking, Landing Pages, Success Metrics, PPC Program Specifics, Reporting & Analytics, I.P. - Click Fraud - SPAM, Alternative PPC Search Engines, Feeds & Feed Advertising and Branding & Campaign. This course costs $2,250 and you can sign up over here. The two other courses include "Fundamentals of Search Marketing" and "Advanced Search Engine Optimization." "Adv [...]

iProspect Releases Search Marketer Measurement & Performance Study

Search Marketer Measurement & Performance Study from iProspect and JupiterResearch was released, providing an update to the search marketing landscape. Here are some key points learned from the study. 43% of SEMs cannot measure the ROI from SEO campaigns SEO nets a higher ROI than paid search Traffic is the most common job performance indicator for search marketers However, 14% of SEMs are not evaluated based on any SEM metrics for their jobs [...]

Industry Group Proposes Eight Principles To Ensure Click Quality

The Click Quality Council, a group of online advertisers, advertising agencies and click quality monitoring firms formed to propose and help establish standards for search advertising quality, has proposed eight principles for ensuring industry-wide click quality. The principles are the result of a six month effort by independent members of the ad-hoc group to identify the key elements needed to deliver adequate quality in pay-per-click advertising campaigns. The eight principles include: Advertisers should never pay for double clicks or repeat clicks from the same session. Advertisers sho [...]

SEMPO Elects 2007 Officers

SEMPO has announced the new officers elected by the 2007 SEMPO Board of Directors Announced. Each officer will serve a one-year term and here they are: Gord Hotchkiss, Chairperson Jeffrey Pruitt, President Dave Williams, Vice President Dave Fall, Treasurer Chris Boggs, Secretary Congrats to the new board! Here is the full release: Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization Elects Officers for 2007 Board of Directors WAKEFIELD, MA, March 22, 2007 -- SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization,, today announced its 2007 officers chosen by its [...]

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