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However, I'm wondering where SEMPO is placing the rest of us inhouse enterprise wide SEM experts.
Where are the resources and corporate leadership for companies that are large enough to bring SEM in house?
Why? because if SEMPO gets one heavy hitter corporation that is leading in SEM efforts in house, it might help legitimize the efforts as a line item as well as push SEM forward in industries that are only doing it sporadically if at all.
My concern is, unlike SEOConsultants.com, it charges for inclusion. Does this mean any hack SEO can be included if he pays the fees? SEOConsultants.com lists according to approved SEO techniques - a better model for inclusion, if you ask me.
Of course we also want to have the individual consultant who practices SEM. It is difficult to discriminate however and SEOconsultants does a great job of filtering but with an organization with goals and objectives like we have, currently the best we can offer is to provide education to the outside community on the value of SEM by providing case studies and a glossary and a source for media so that we can get the word out on what exactly an SEM does and to at least try to streamline the information process on how we define our industry.
The word professional seems very out of place when there are no standards or qualifications - no screening process at all. Pr0n, gambling, "we submit you to 5,000,000 search engines every day" sites, whatever - they are all welcome to buy some links with SEMPO. It just doesn't smell good to me.
I'm particularly interested to see what resources they claim to make available to members and whether they intend to concentrate on just the US market. If you ask me, it's SEM developing countries like Germany and the Scandinavian countries where SEOs require support in getting the word out in that SEM isn't voodoo or a meta tag tweak. It all seems very US centric to me. I'd like to see them at the forthcoming SES in Münich for example with a stand or whatever. At least making a presence to show that they arent just about the US Market. I'd also like to know how transparent they are once you are member. As a member I'd want to see the 'game plan' with timelines. 'Where exactly is my money going?' is a pretty valid question to ask I'd say.
It has to be said that they are certainly looking like a pay for a link scam at an intitial glance. There are already SEM glossarys out there and plenty of top resources for SEO/SEM (This place being one of them).
Also btw, there were hundreds (probably thousands)who joined a SEMPO yahoo group when it was all getting formed. There was no mention of prices or plans there, just generalization of goals. There hasn't been anything from the Yahoo group apart from the announcement of a new site and the San Jose launch. Also what niggled me a bit was that all of a sudden there are all kinds of committee heads and members who got voted in by, ummmm, nobody. I think they could have handled that better.
However, I am going to wait and see and I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt right now. I probably will join a few months down the road.
My SEM business is Germany based, and if SEMPO are going to pull their weight anywhere, then I can tell you Germany needs them right now.
The major drawback to getting them involved is the fact that most want their anon status. They love that nameless, faceless, and liability free aspect of participation. Most would need corporate approvable to do anything at all - let alone speak up at an association meeting.