More on Search Marketing Consolidation

Thread Title:
Search Agencies Ripe for Picking
Thread Description:

Kevin Newcomb in the threadlink above has some interesting quotes and a little further speculation on Search Marketing consolidation:

Just about any SEM of significant size has been approached as a potential acquisition. Suitors include publicly traded holding companies, traditional and interactive agencies, and also ESPs, direct marketing and database marketing firms. According to various SEM executives ClickZ News interviewed for this story, performance-based ad networks, like ValueClick and FastClick, are among the most likely acquirers, outside the big three holding companies.

There are hundreds of SEM firms, but most industry watchers agree less than a dozen are large enough to have developed the practices and technologies to make them worth acquiring. SEM firms Did-It, Fathom, Impaqt and the foundering DoubleClick top the list of attractive targets.

What's more interesting to me is the unasked question: What will this mean to the small SEO/SEM?


For the small SEM

It mainly means that there are increasing opportunities to join the industry as an employee in a larger firm, or indeed to have the security of working for a large company (pension, health cover, holiday pay, etc). Sure, most would rather go it alone, but just having the choice is nice.

It also means that SEM is continuing to go more mainstream, and become a more obvious and serious choice for the big budget advertisers. That means more interest in acquiring SEM expertise and services at all levels.

Of course, it means that people doing SEM at the bottom-feeding level will undoubtedly face an ever more-competitive marketplace in future.

It means increasing demand for experienced SEMs, and a skills shortage in the short term. That in turn will lead to increased pressure for a real measure of acreditation or some official qualification for SEMs, and could lead to something more recognized than just apprenticeships in larger companies as an entry-level 'qualification' to the industry.

Makes sense

Thanks BK, that makes sense to me.

I've been reading that CGI Holdings aquired Proceed today also.

I do think it will "raise the bar" on the whole "im an seo" malarky that exists right now...

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