December 11, 2001
Press Release

30% of Search Engine Optimization Firms Get Failing Marks in New Buyer's Guide

SUMMARY: In news released yesterday, researchers for the Buyer's Guide to Search Engine Optimization Firms gave 30% of US-based firms failing marks for neglecting standard best practices and getting less than impressive results for their clients. The newly updated Guide also includes reviews for 17 UK-based firms.
For Immediate Release

December 11, 2001: The newly updated edition of MarketingSherpa's Buyer's Guide to Search Engine Optimization & Positioning Firms < > published today reveals that 30% of reviewed US-based search engine marketing firms receive failing marks in terms of use of standard best practices -- and their actual client results.

In addition, MarketingSherpa's researchers found pricing does not reflect quality of service. Three of the US-based firms receiving high grades for results and best practices were also revealed to be among the lowest-priced firms in the country. One of the firms to receive a failing grade of "F", was among the highest priced in the nation.

MarketingSherpa created the guide through extensive primary research. First the publisher solicited recommendations, of which firms to include, from thousands of client-side marketers. Then MarketingSherpa's researchers in the US and UK interviewed representatives from each of the 43 nominated firms extensively. Last, but not least, the researchers independently double-checked each firm's quality claims by reviewing actual client's results.

Danny Sullivan, Editor of Search Engine Watch (read by more than 190,000 marketers globally) said of the first edition, "The 'Buyers' Guide toSearch Engine Optimization & Positioning Firms' is an outstanding resource that fills a long-needed gap. There has simply never been this type of comprehensive guide to firms that conduct search engine marketing, and the report is a real must buy for anyone considering outsourcing their search engine marketing efforts."

"Search engine optimization and positioning is the number one hot online advertising tactic now," explains MarketingSherpa Publisher Anne Holland, "but it's become so technical, and changes so rapidly, that it's almost impossible to handle in-house anymore. In the old days your webmaster could do it for you. Now most companies are realizing they have to hire an outside expert to handle it for them. That's why search engine optimization firms are springing up like crazy -- and they are flooded with business. However, quality and pricing range from outstanding to truly dismal."

During the past six months, search engine marketing has become the most quickly growing sector of the online advertising industry, because it is both proven and highly cost-effective. More than 60,000 American and British marketers and advertisers have switched the greater part of their online marketing budgets from banner advertising to search engine marketing.

MarketingSherpa's updated Guide includes pricing, graded reviews and details on 43 search engine optimization firms in the US and the UK. An additional 25 firms in the US, Canada and Australia are scheduled to be included in January at no additional charge to current Guide purchasers.

About the Publisher:
MarketingSherpa publishes newsletters, buyer's guides and best practices reports for marketing, advertising and PR professionals wishing to improve their Internet-related revenues. The Company has been praised as one of the best Internet marketing-related publishers by The Economist, Tenagra Awards, and Harvard Business School.

Contact: Anne Holland, Publisher

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