I’ve been thinking a lot today about the large quantity of information that exists within the Search Engine Marketing industry. How much of it is actually worth anything?
We have blogs, newsletters, forums, pliggs, podcasts, vlogs, professional organizations, certifications, conferences, awards, magazines, glossaries, books, wikis, and virtual trade shows. About the only mediums we don’t have are a dedicated cable TV network and a made-for-TV movie. Search Engine Marketers’ willingness to share their knowledge creates an almost level playing field with very little cost to enter the market. For the most part, everybody has access to the same information at the same time.
However, the search engines themselves create the products and hold all of the proprietary information that form the basis of the industry and justify our existence. If this is the case, what is the real value of all of the commentary, rhetoric and speculation that exists in the industry? As an experienced SEM, I find that only about 5% of all of the information I come across on a daily basis is actually furthering the conversation and increasing my knowledge of SEO, PPC, SMM or Local Search Marketing. Another 5% of the content is extremely valuable to me because of the thought leadership on integrating and applying SEM strategies in enterprise and traditional marketing organizations. These are the valuable “signals” that have to be teased out of the vast sea of information that exists on the topic.
The rest of the content that fills these channels is pure noise and consists primarily of less-than-original commentary and recycled best practices. It’s no wonder it’s often referred to as “the echo chamber.” Of course the engines change their algorithms, update their services and add new programs nearly every day. Some coverage of these events is necessary, and this is the 5% of industry coverage that I find useful. There are also some very smart people revolutionizing marketing by applying SEM to traditional marketing challenges. These sources provide the other 5% of useful information about taking the industry to new heights as part of more progressive marketing organizations.
On Thursday, I’ll cover the challenges that newbies to the industry are facing, as well as the best sources of information I’ve found to meet those needs and how to act on it.
If you have any thoughts or questions, leave a comment and keep the conversation going. Let me know what you think about the quantity and quality of the industry communications.