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Microsoft® and SEMPO Institute™ Launch Affiliate Education Initiative

Some 20,000 Microsoft Affiliates to Have Access to SEMPO Institute Online Learning Program. Microsoft Also Approves Two-Year Extension of SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) Platinum Sponsorship.

Wakefield, MA, October 31, 2007 – Microsoft Corp. and SEMPO Institute, www.sempoinstitute.com, announced today an education alliance in which personnel from 20,000 affiliates of the MSN search engine will have access to SEMPO Institute’s online learning program designed to provide in-depth knowledge of best-practices in search engine marketing.

As part of the new alliance, personnel from the MSN affiliates will be able to take SEMPO Institute’s Fundamentals of Search Marketing class. SEMPO Institute also offers online classes in Advanced Search Engine Optimization and Advanced Search Advertising. Fundamentals consists of 14 lessons intended to give the student a high level understanding of the essentials of search engine marketing.

"Microsoft found the SEMPO Institute fundamentals class to be very useful in understanding how search engine marketing works, and so we are supporting this affiliate education program,” says Brian Boland, Group Marketing Director, Microsoft Corp. "Knowing how to best utilize search engines when doing business online is now essential to selling any product or service. It spans the entire economy. Our affiliates will no doubt find the SEMPO Institute class valuable in providing insights into effective SEM techniques,” he adds.

Since SEMPO Institute launched in early 2007, the student feedback has been very positive – 80% say they would recommend the Fundamentals course. "All companies need the fundamentals of search marketing in order to implement an e-marketing strategy,” says SEMPO President Jeffrey Pruitt.

While the initial Microsoft affiliate program covers only the Fundamentals class, Pruitt notes there is an option to work out an agreement in which MSN affiliate students can move on to take the advanced classes.

Microsoft Platinum Sponsorship

"SEMPO is thrilled that Microsoft has chosen to renew its Platinum sponsorship level for another two years,” says Pruitt. "The participation of companies such as Microsoft helps SEMPO be in tune with the needs of our professional members, and helps to generate innovative programs such as the SEMPO Institute,” he says.

Matthew Lydon, Senior Director of Sales, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, is a member of the SEMPO Advisory Board.

The Platinum sponsorship provides a number of opportunities for Microsoft, among them the ability to post job openings on the SEMPO website, early access to SEMPO research, trade show booth co-op promotions and top billing at all SEMPO events.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at www.microsoft.com on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at www.microsoft.com.

About the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO)
SEMPO is a global non-profit organization serving the search engine marketing industry and marketing professionals engaged in it. Its purpose is to provide a foundation for industry growth through building stronger relationships, fostering awareness, providing education, promoting the industry, generating research, and creating a better understanding of search and its role in marketing. Representing thousands in over 30 countries, SEMPO has over 700 members. It represents the common interests of companies and consultants worldwide and provides them with a voice in the marketplace. SEMPO’s education and outreach initiatives are sponsored in part by Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, Superpages.com and Search Engine Strategies.

 

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