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SEMPO Releases Industry Critical Issues List Based on Research

Trademark Issues and New Search Engine Advertising Features Rank High in Importance with Survey Respondents

Palo Alto, CA, February 28, 2005 - The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization(SEMPO), a non-profit professional association working to increase awareness and promote the value of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) worldwide, sees a need to address several critical industry issues, trends and challenges. Several areas covered in SEMPO's comprehensive research study "The State of Search Engine Marketing 2004" have gained in importance since the study was released in December.

The following study results are of particular importance for 2005:

  1. 83% of respondents planned to increase their spending on paid placement campaigns in 2005.
  2. At the time of the SEMPO study, research by Overture and Doubleclick which supports an even greater value to SEM had not yet been released. Given the additional data supporting the value of search, this estimate may be low.
  3. Trademarks are an important keyword type and while some litigation has been settled or ruled upon, there are still pending trademark related lawsuits. Trademark-related issues with respect to search behavior will continue to be a hot topic. The majority of (but not all) advertisers bid on their own trademarks as keywords; misspellings, less so. Larger firms in general appeared to be more focused on trademarks.
    Listing enhancements (enhancements to PPC ads or Paid Inclusion) are a potential source of more revenue for engines due to marketer willingness to pay more to make their listings stand out. A small icon and larger fonts were the most popular ideas for premium features that would entice advertisers to pay more for paid placement keywords.
  4. Fonts, icons and Rich Media all would result in marketers willing to pay a significant Paid Placement PPC premium.

"It is clear that the industry still has huge upside potential, and that two years from now, the paid placement marketplaces might look very different than they do now ” said Kevin Lee, Board of Directors Member and Chair of the Research Committee of SEMPO. "The fact that marketers are willing to pay more for listings even for enhancements as small as font changes or small icons will not escape the notice of the search engines."

The research, conducted by Executive Summary Consulting, Inc., is based on an extensive survey of 288 search engine advertisers and marketing agencies, executed via IntelliSurvey, Inc., as well as in-depth interviews with 30 leading industry experts.

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 40 countries, SEMPO has more than 800 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 funded in part by Yahoo!, Google, SMX, Search Engine Strategies, DoubleClick, Baidu, and MediaPost.


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