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by Carsten Cumbrowski, July, 26 2007.
The search engine optimization and paid search marketing business landscape is changing. The realm of the tech savvy geek, who was able to make your site rank high in the search engines, seemingly using nothing else but pixy dust is ending. Newly trained and certified search marketers enter the market to take their space, slowly.
Search engine optimization and search engine marketing or paid search used to be the domain of geeks, who learned what to do and how to do it by trial and error and as a result successfully leveraged the power of search engines. They were experimenting and learning from their successes and failures. There was no school anybody could attend and no major in search marketing to select at college, which taught people how to be successful in the search marketing industry.
Hireling somebody with experience and proven knowledge about search to do the in-house search marketing was virtually impossible. Companies had to take a person's word for it and watch if the results eventually reflect what was had promised and what was expected during the job interview.
"Growing" staff in-house from an inexperienced rookie to a valuable asset was often the best option.
Unfortunately, was it hard, to keep the person after they got the experience and knew what their work and knowledge is worth on the free market. Those people did often quit their job at the company where they learned the details and acquired the skills to start working for a specialized search-marketing firm or to start their own business.
Independent training and certification did not exist.
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The Changing Landscape in Search Engine Marketing
The landscape regarding education and certification changed dramatically since the middle of 2006. Before 2006 did exist virtually none or only a few curriculums to internet marketing, especially to the fast growing subject of search engine marketing and optimization. Among the few that did exist, was none, which resulted in an industry wide accepted form of certification. Students who successfully completed the training were not able to use the certificate with confidence for a job application.
Combined industry efforts and the shortage of skilled internet marketing professionals created a boom in new services, which offer new training courses and seminars including certification to various internet-marketing subjects. Not all certifications are accepted or acknowledged across the industry, but most of them offer at least a similar level of education, which makes 3rd party certifications almost in all cases just as good as an "official" one.
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Broad Selection of Options and Services
The offers vary in price, amount of transferred knowledge and distribution method. Self-learning courses in printed and electronic format online are as available as hands on training classes in real classrooms with real teachers and interaction with other students. In addition, the combination of virtual training online combined with interaction with real teachers and other students is in some cases an option.
Companies can now send their employees who might have a major in marketing and advertising or computer engineering to a paid training and know when they come back and passed the exam and got their certification that they do know at least the basics of the job they are supposed to do.
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Graduates Are in High Demand
The demand for graduates from the new available colleges, training programs and online classes is high and successful alumni in subjects like SEM/PPC or SEO can often choose from more than one job offer available to them. Classes are usually very affordable ranging between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
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Finding Job Openings and Recruitment
If you are looking for a job in the search marketing industry, or if you are a personnel manager and looking for SEM professionals to hire, you might want to have a look at the niche job search site JobsInSearch.com, which specializes in search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing jobs and careers. In addition, a large number of general job sites exist, where you can find job openings for internet marketers, including SEO and paid-search marketing.
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Times are certainly changing and the realm of the one-geek shows is slowly ending. The industry matures at last.
You can find information to search engine marketing and SEO colleges, online and offline training including industry-wide acknowledged certification at my SEO/SEM training and education resources.
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