Search Publishers Not Friends Of Agencies, SEMs

Spotted via,
Buy Your Own Search Listings
from iMediaConnection, Kevin Ryan writes of a concern I’ve heard from many search marketers over the years. Search engines aren’t the friends
of agencies and SEM firms. If they can, they want to go direct to the client and cut out the middleman. Heck, shoot back to 2002 when search marketer Greg Boser
condemned “monetization targeting” at our SES San Jose show as just one example of this.

In my SES San Jose keynote this year, I touched on some of the issues this raises. SEM firms in
particular have been what I called “foot soldiers” in winning advertisers over to search. Rather than cut them out, they need to be supported, rewarded and protected.

I also see the search engines — the publishers as Kevin rightly calls them — fighting the wrong battle if they think they can replace what agencies provide. The search
publishers know their own publications, but it is extremely rare for an advertiser to want to be on only one network. People want both Google and Yahoo/Overture, to have as
much reach as possible.

So when Google gains a client, will they do everything possible to ensure that client gets the best play on its competitor Overture? I doubt it. Instead, it will naturally
want to keep as much of that client money as it can at home — and the same would be true for Overture.

In contrast, Kevin writes (and I agree) on how agencies and SEM firms have incentive to work fully in the client’s best interest, regardless of publishing venue.

For a related article on the tensions between agencies and search publishers, also see this article from MediaPost earlier this year:
Search Turf War: Industry Growth Foments Tension Among Mutually Reliant.

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