MarketingSherpa Working On New Edition Of SEM Buyers Guide

MarketingSherpa is preparing the latest edition of its pioneering and highly-recommended guide to search engine marketing firms. The deadline for firms to submit information is Friday, Sept. 19.

In my previous reviews, I’ve found the guide a great resource for anyone seeking an SEM company. It wasn’t without fault and came under fire by some SEM firms who felt it was imposing its own standards on them (see SEO Guide Expands, But Ratings Upset Some Firms). Nevertheless, the compilation of information was incredibly useful.

MarketingSherpa publisher Anne Holland tells me the formerly-disputed ranking system is being abandoned for the latest issue.

“The SEO firms themselves had asked for us to include it in our first edition. But then no one could ever agree on what constituted a truly fair rank, especially since so much SEO is either not properly measured by clients or based on clever niche keyword selections that are impossible to compare across clients,” Holland said.

Instead, the guide aims to provide other data that it hopes will help consumers make wise choices, such as selected client names, customer service hours and product price ranges.

Want to be considered for the guide? You need to have one full-time employee who’s been involved with SEM for at least three years, your company’s revenues must be mainly derived from SEM services and you must be based in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand, Holland said.

If you meet these criteria, message guide editor Nancy Griffin at She’ll then send you a formal questionnaire.

Holland also said that paid listing services is being broken out as a specialty. In turn, a separate Buyer’s Guide for that topic will come out in December. Nomination forms for inclusion in that guide will be out in early October — more news on that, when the link is available.

Thanks to the new Search Engine Lowdown blog for the heads-up on the new edition being in preparation.

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