SEMPO Shows A Decline in SEO Spendings In 2011 (Should Be Good News for All)

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This article is based on the data made available by the SEMPO State of Search Marketing Report 2011, published by Econsultancy. The SEMPO Report  is based on a global online survey of more than 900 companies and agencies  from 66 different countries, from marketers across a range of business sectors and types of agency. (The graph shown below is also available in the report)

The report is exhaustive and supplies data on various aspects of the search marketing industry. I would like to highlight just one point from the SEO-specific perspective: in spite of the fact that the report shows a decline in the SEO spending this year, there is a positive aspect to it.

According to this latest SEMPO Report –  The number of organizations engaging in SEO has gradually decreased in the last three years, from 91% in 2009 to 86% in 2011. While the number of those carrying out social media has increased by 2%  . (As you can see in the graph below which was available in the report)


The Report further mentions (Page 18 under 7.2.1) :

“This decline can be partly explained by the fact that some companies believe that carrying out SEO activity is not necessary as long as they have good content on their web site”.

I think this is a very positive change though there is a decline in SEO spending. This indicates that finally the website owners are realizing that once the site is optimized for search engines, then in order to future proof the presence, they need to focus on quality web presence which is reflected in the increase in the social media spending .

This further reflects the integration of Social media and Search.

This attitude shows that there is a shift from the focus of just building links to developing quality content and then sharing it on social media for natural link building – which I am sure is a step ahead towards the right attitude to SEO.

The Report also mentions additionally on  (Page 20 under 7.2.2) :

“SEO activity is increasingly concentrated in the hands of SEO specialists rather than generic digital agencies”.

This again is a positive trend as this will project the SEO service as a specialized one and people dedicated to organic search will be in demand for SEO rather than organizations performing all online marketing activities without any specialization.

All these trends prove that the SEO industry specifically is undergoing a metamorphosis but heading in the right direction qualitatively.The increase in the Social Media spendings further prove this as search and social media supplement each other. As one of the major objectives of social media for search marketers is to supplement the SEO of a site.

The Conclusion:

The following cycle shows how  to Future-Proof your quality web presence and thereby SEO in the long run.


The web is the canvas on which you paint the picture of your real life business, achievements, attitude, mission and vision  depending on the purpose of your web presence. We have to develop the skill to do it well and try to put our best foot forward.

Bharati Ahuja
+Bharati Ahuja is founder WebPro Technologies India, SEO Trainer and Speaker, Web Entrepreneur, Blog Writer, Internet Marketing Consultant. Follow her on twitter @webprotech
Bharati Ahuja
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  • Scott Bartell

    A general study such as the one provided can provide some insight on the industry as a whole (…a global online survey of more than 900 companies and agencies from 66 different countries, from marketers across a range of business sectors and types of agency..) but I’m unsure how useful that data would be to me.

    I think that industry specific data would be much more beneficial. For example, my specific industry could just be delving into SEO and their efforts could have increased dramatically (200% increased spending).
    If this data was sliced into industry specific data one might be able to understand which direction SEO is moving. Furthermore, knowledge such as this might provide insight on which industries are developing, fully developed, and declining. 

    This data may also show gaps in an underdeveloped industry which might be a good spot to start a new SEM campaign.

  • Nirav Barot

    @Bharati Ahuja this is really good information you share with us.. 

    agree with  point of view.. as different industries work on different ways.. here the static provided was the online survey of more than 900 companies from 66 different agencies only ! but all those agencies doesn’t contain all industries!! and it doesn’t mean that just because of this static i have to move to any of this industry !! 
    But @Scott:twitter would like tell you that this is the basic static of the general industries.. we as different industries have to get only ideas (basses on SEM campaign work) from this static that how the different industries static should be like ???
    If we see this static as general point of view then it would be good but what about the other industries? we have to look out for industry specific data as it’s the only way to get the perfection on specific business performance.

  • Sunbury Realtor

    It’s wise for companies to strike a healthy
    balance between their SEO efforts and the quality of the content they have on
    their website. Poor copy won’t convert traffic into sales. Likewise, you can’t
    sell anything without someone to sell to.

  • Emma

    The challenge for most companies is who to get to write their new website content. Ideally you need someone who has a balance of expertise in the subject, good copywriting skills and an understanding of the principles of SEO. That’s not an easy mix to achieve.

  • Jason Rudland

    Some good advice, but I often find people struggle for good content ideas. I created the content lifespan chart to help my clients: