Is Search Engine Marketing Growing by Evolution or Revolution?

You could say that Search Engine Marketing and related Search Engine Optimization efforts have evolved over time into a ubiquitous constant for every serious business-minded website.  Or you could say that the search engines, in particular Google, have caused a violent revolution for web-teams and marketers greatly altering the global landscape at a breathtaking pace where everyone is scrambling just to keep up. 

If you look at the evolution theory, you’ll see that over time, gradual awareness of SERP and the impact it carries for online lead generation and resulting sales has worked its way into the most core fibers of offline as well as online business strategy and marketing.  New information, new tools and new awareness have made it important for management teams to respond and react to changing conditions in their marketing ecosystem.   

On the revolution side of the argument you now see International corporations like HP, RIM and others where corporate titles like VP Search Marketing or Director of Search Marketing and their supporting departments staffed with some of the best and brightest are a new reality for the old org chart. Responsibilities for these newly formed corporate search marketing departments encompass not only generating additional sales and developing leads; but also being actively engaged in projects for brand exposure, trademark protection, HR support, internal communication and corporate reputation management. 

In many firms, protecting brands and properly exposing the very name of the business are essential online missions for a search staff that didn’t even exist just a few years (if not months) ago.  Yet to some companies, this new-age emphasis on search and the required allocation of needed resources for that mission is still as alien to their thinking as opening a branch office on the moon!

Both revolution and evolution advocates could point to the explosion of social marketing and the seemingly instant fame for web celebs.  I like to look at the jobs created for developers, artists, writers and marketers based upon the never ending need for good content and better tools for creation and deployment.  Is it revolution when you have the explosion of new entrepreneurial firms built to capture traffic all vying for attention and sustainability?  Is it revolution when old marketing giants like yellow pages advertising firms and newspapers scramble to develop workable online strategies to avoid being toppled…or… is the natural selection process in action here allowing the extinction of some while opening the door to others?  

 Maybe like the global economy itself, the dominance of search as a major business concern is a massive collision of both, evolution and revolution.  Regardless of the reason my only advice is, “Watch your niche!  You might lose it.”

2 Responses

  1. Steve Thomas on 29 Sep 2008

    John, Good reminder. What’s amazing is that the the definition of “content:” continues to evolve with engines now reading images and videos as well as the importance of relative links!

  2. John P. Kreiss on 29 Sep 2008

    This is an interesting post. Any company interested in attracting the search engines should focus on content. Perhaps this should be “evolving” contact. Keep your web site static with litle to no updates, see your appeal to search engines fall. Update your site regularly and see your attractability improve.

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