SEMPO, a non-profit professional association working to increase awareness and promote the value of search engine marketing worldwide, will kick off their new sem seo training on January 15, 2007. The online SEM Fundamentals program will be offered through the SEMPO Institute. SEMPO will also offer two additional certificate courses sometime during the first quarter, Advanced SEO and Advanced Search Advertising. Members and non members alike will be eligible to take the courses. Pricing is set for each course as follows; SEM Fundamentals, $499 – Advanced SEO, $1750 – Advanced Search Advertising, $2250 with discounts for SEMPO members, miltary members, students, and bulk purchases. The announcement email also included this;
SEMPO will cover topics such as: the history of search engines, how search engines work, the latest innovations within the search world, links and directories, seo fundamentals of web site design, copyrighting, common seo roadblocks, search engine submissions, pay-per-click, and tracking and reporting your SEM efforts. And, of course, at the end of the course, a list of resources will assist you in learning the industry’s best practices and ever-changing nuances of search.
Well Kevin didn’t say that everyone needs sem seo certification and training he did say, “I’ll allow that many SEM jobs require knowledge and training” in his recent Click Z article “SEM and SEO: Rocket Science or Just Plain Science? Part 2”. Thanks Kevin, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. I’ve been blogging about this for years.
I don’t recall Kevin nor his sidekick David Pasternack talking about seo being a “science” before. In fact David said in his controversial article,
“What I am saying is that most marketers can achieve significant organic rankings without resorting to anything more mysterious than applying the basic optimization principles outlined in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines”.
To Kevin’s credit he did comment on Greg Boser’s WebGuerrilla blog,
“I’d recommend that you and your team start with the Google Webmaster page read WebMasterWorld, attend a conference or two, take the DMA or SEMPO training, and take care of the basics.”
A much more detailed call for sem seo training than what David said earlier. Kevin ends his Click Z article with this statement,
“Education and best practices are important for the entire industry: PPC, SEO, and other media buying. In a future columns, I’ll cover some of the great new ways you can keep yourself educated”.
Thanks, we’ll be looking forward to that. I for one am glad Kevin is acknowledging the need for sem seo certification and training. What about you?
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In my original post about associations offering certification or training, I noted that SEMPO had no position on certification and the only assocation to address the issue was SEOPros. They were endorsing Search Engine College and SEO Research Labs. SEOPros now has their own certification program.
Not until the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) launched their sem seo certification program did I address an association’s move in that area. My post discussed DMA’s program and suggested that SEMPO may have something in the works.
In my article submitted to Marketing Pilgrim’s SEM Scholarship contest “Shhhh!…..the dirty little secret about sem seo certification” I said;
Finally, why aren’t the sem seo associations like SEMPO, SMA-NA, SMA-UK, SMA-EU and others taking a stand on sem seo certification or training? Maybe they should develop their own certification or training programs.
Well it looks like some of them are taking a stand but now what? Isn’t this creating a certification training monster? Which certification training is best and how do you tell them apart? In that article I added;
Better yet, perhaps they should endorse other programs like SEOPros did with Search Engine College and SEO Research Labs. Even better, rate or rank some of the programs and perhaps add an experience component to the mix. Whatever they do, let’s hope they do it soon.
Maybe this is an opporunity for those associations that haven’t developed their own certificaton training program to rate some of the many programs out there. Adding a verifiable experience component to any certification would go a long way to making that certificate more valuable. Until then a certification, is a certification, is a certification.
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My recent article submitted to Marketing Pilgrim’s SEM Scholarship contest was about sem seo certification and training. Here’s a snippet;
Finally, why aren’t the sem seo associations like SEMPO, SMA-NA, SMA-UK, SMA-EU and others taking a stand on sem seo certification or training? Maybe they should develop their own certification or training programs. Rumor has it some may be in the works.
Well I guess it wasn’t a rumor since SEMPO, a global non-profit organization serving the search engine marketing industry, has announced their online distance learning program for search marketing professionals at SEMPO Institute. The initial cirricula includes SEM Fundamentals, Advanced SEO and Advanced Search Advertising.
After they pass a series of “rigorous tests” the participants will receive a “certificate of completion” for the course. Course fees have not yet been determined but SEMPO notes the fees “are expected be competitive with similar programs”. What those similar programs are is anybody’s guess but I imagine some of the programs covered in this blog might qualify.
“The time is right for SEMPO to not only advocate best practices in search marketing, but also to provide intensive training in these practices for our fast growing sector of the interactive marketing economy,” says SEMPO President Dana Todd.
Amen to that Dana. We’ll be watching closely to see the reaction from the sem seo community. I imagine these courses will be very popular only because the are provided by the largest search engine marketing association in the world.
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Lee Odden at Online Marketing Blog describes the new search engine marketing certification program at the DMA06 conference. There were more than 100 attendees, probably the largest group to get any sem seo certification at one time. There was a pretty impressive lineup of instructors and courses for the first day including;
Jeannette Kocsis, VP of Digital Marketing at Harte-Hanks, Introduction to Search Engine Marketing
Matt Bailey, Founder of Site Logic, Site Indexing Challenges and How to Fix Them
Detlev Johnson, Executive VP of Technology at Your Amigo, Search Engine and Directory Submission/Inclusion Tactics
Lee Odden, President of TopRank Online Marketing Search Engine Basics
As I’ve stated here previously, I don’t know how valuable an sem seo certificate might be but I do know this has to be some excellent training. Having an association backing like DMA certainly can’t hurt. Certification or not, it sounds like a good investment but time will tell. Love to hear from any of the participants and get their input. Stay tuned!
I posted earlier on the DMA and SEMPO seo sem certifications and added “So what has changed? Well, for the first time major industry associations have unveiled an seo sem certificate. ” Wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!
Markland Media’s Jim Hedger, search engine marketing writer and speaker, reported in May of this year on Search Engine Guide , that the Society of Internet Professionals and SEOPros are introducing seo sem certifications.
The Society of Internet Professionals (SIP) took over e certificaton from the Association of Web Professionals which had offered an accreditation program, Accredited Internet Professional (AIP), since 1999.
SEOPros.org does it right for an association. They give their blessing to a couple of seo sem certification companies. One is Search Engine College, and the other is SEO Research Labs. Both the instructors and the owners are well know in the seo sem industry.
It would be great if one of these associations would review all the certification programs and rate or rank them accordingly. If there are no standards for seo sem, how can you set standards for seo sem certification?
The value of SEO SEM certification has been debated for years with most landing on the side of useless. Lack of industry practices and standards, as well as the rapidly changing search engine landscape has slowed sem/seo certification growth. Neverthleless certification for search engine marketers has been around for years and thousands have been certified.
So what has changed? Well, for the first time major industry associations, Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) have announced their seo sem certification programs. A couple of things I ask about any training or certification is “who are the instructors” and “are they recognized in the industry”?
Lee Odden gives us the rundown on the DMA certification and tells us Detlev Johnson, Matt Bailey and he will be some of the instructors. I guess that answers my question! On top of that, Dr. Amanda Wattlington is managing the overall search engine marketing certification content strategy and planning.
It will be interesting to see how this affects other seo sem certification vendors and the market as a whole. Since experience will always be more important than a piece of paper, it would be great to see the DMA add an experience component . I’m talking about verifiable experience to eliminate “I’ve been doing seo since 1986” or “I’m a good friend of Matt Cutts”.
The first classes are offered at DMA ’06 . Are you going take this seo sem certification? Are you going to take any search type certification? Have you taken any certification ?
My Head is a Rocket had an advanced look at the SEMPO SEM Fundamentals Certification course that the will launch in December 4-7, 2006 at SES Chicago .
The fundamentals track looks like an waste of time, with a pretty motley crew of instructors. You’d be much better off buying the SEO book but you know this whole thing is aimed at mouth-breathing marketing majors working for corporations with more money than sense. The Advanced track has much better personnel lined up and its pretty easy to imagine a dream lineup of SEO all-stars to teach lessons in the various SEO techniques. More about this in my next post…
It sounds like the instructors in the Advanced track are worthy. My Head is a Rocket also lays out his picks on the SEO Certification Dream Team