SEMPO, SEMpo, sempo, …

SEMPO is the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization, now 12 months old. I should give Steve Sardell credit for suggesting that SEMPO has become SEMpo since the ‘professional organization’ aspect seems to be dropping in importance. I read an article today that suggested that “SEMPO Pushes Ahead“. However it won’t be easy. Just consider one aspect raised in that article.

Establishing Best Practices

Another goal, which may turn out to be the most difficult to accomplish, is to define some best business practices for members to follow. The idea is not to condone or condemn certain tactics, or to certify companies in any way, but to provide some guidelines to enhance the reputation of all SEMPO members.

“This is about things like providing credible references to prospects, not deceiving clients. We’ll let the search engines worry about guidelines and standards,” Barbara Coll said. “It’s a reputation thing for the whole industry.”

The discussion about what to include will not be short, and it will require a huge amount of feedback from the members, she said. She also knows that there will surely be some members who just don’t want SEMPO to get involved in this part of their business, but the need for guidelines is there if the industry is to grow and be respected.

“We can’t get into the mainstream media planner’s checklist if they’re afraid or don’t trust the search marketing world,” she said. “There need to start being guidelines at every level. This needs to start happening.”

Interestingly if it had been a true Trade Association, many of its difficulties would have been avoided. So it’s not surprising to see the popular movement that seems to be developing around forming a true T.A. for the SEM industry. One manifestation of this is the Cre8asite Forum thread, After SEMPO: Should we Start a Trade Association?.