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This Week in Search Marketing Staffing – 5/5/08

This past week was fairly slow in terms of search marketing staffing news. By the end of the week the headlines were dominated by what will hopefully be the end of the Microhoo saga. Now that both sides have returned to their corners to fight against Google by themselves, it will be interesting to see how they react over the next couple months and to see if they are forced to layoff workers or if they aggressively staff up to try and take some ground from Google.

Last week there was a great article by Fionn Downhill, on Search Engine Watch, about Training Your Search Marketing Employees. In part one of her article Fionn covers some of the crucial steps for properly training new employees. With a focus on newbie search marketers, Fionn stresses understanding an employee’s learning styles as the key to a successful training program. As part of her training she suggests job shadowing to gain knowledge of the agency, and having employees go through SEM training courses to gain knowledge of the industry.

Matt McGee of Small Business SEM posted an article at the end of the week titled, SEO Career Advice from an Out-of-Work SEO. As someone who recently entered the SEO job market for the first time in nearly 20 years, Matt provides some great insight into how he is tackling the issue, as well as advice to anyone in a similar situation. Matt gives 9 points of suggestion in response to a letter he received from someone currently trying to get into search marketing. To sum up his advice in two words, stay active. His suggestions range from blogging regularly to volunteering to build experience on your resume. If you are having trouble finding a position, check out his article to make sure you are covering all your bases to stay ahead in the game.

To close out April Jessica Bowman provided some good insight in her article Outsourcing to Increase SEO Throughput. Jessica explains how to grow an efficient SEO program even when facing budget constraints. When you are unable to afford adding staff, Jessica suggests evaluating what you are currently handling in-house, and outsourcing some of the easier tasks. Although if you are in this situation you may not be able to afford outsourcing to an agency, tasks like keyword research and copywriting can easily be outsourced to other internal departments when proper instruction is available.

To start the month of May, SEMPO announced they will begin a certification program for agencies. Through the SEMPO Institute they will offer two levels of certification. Based on the percentage of employees who complete SEMPO’s course agencies can either receive a Gold Seal (20-49%) or a Platinum Seal (50% or more). The program will be open to all agencies and will require a $250 application fee. This will be great way to improve the quality of agencies and protect the reputation of them as well.

That sums up the search marketing staffing news for this week, check back next week for another update.

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