Andy points me to Danny’s lengthy review of the trials and tribulations of SEMPO, an organization founded at Danny’s August 2003 SEW conference to further the search marketing industry. I was at that event, and as they announced it, I wondered if they could ever agree on anything, from a code of ethics for SEM/SEO members, to how the board would work, to dues. Well, the truth is, no, they have had some trouble.
The organization is a reflection of the scattered and still immature state of the search marketing industry. When I was researching my “Search Economy” chapter I contacted the group and asked them why they did not have a standards or principles policy, something that all members would agree to. Given the sometimes shady practices in SEM/SEO (link farms, etc.) I figured this would have been a no brainer. (No one responded to me – though with authors this happens a lot, and I didn’t take it as a sign of anything at the time.) In his post, Danny brings this up, and notes SEMPO is reviewing the issue. I’d strongly urge them to act. They don’t have to police the world, that’s not the point. The point is, whoever joins SEMPO, agrees to act by some basic fair play rules. That’s not policing, that’s common sense. It’ll be good for the industry, good for SEMPO, and good for search.
Andrew Goodman also has some words on this here….