Rob Snell: Comments on the Congressional Hearing About Online Advertising

My new friend and fellow Yahoo! Store Developer Rob Snell was invited by a director at Yahoo! Small Business to testify in front of Congress at a hearing of the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Small Business about Online Advertising. His preperation and written testimony was easy-to-read and Rob published it here at Search Engine Land. You should definitely read that first.

Now that’ he’s back and rested, with a fresh .gov link in his pocket, I thought I’d ask him a few short questions about how it went, what it was like as an experience, and what he thought it meant for search marketing’s future.

SEM Agencies as Educators, Innovators in the Growing Search Field

The North American SEM industry grew from $9.4 billion in 2006 to $12.2 billion in 2007, exceeding earlier projections of $11.5 billion for 2007 and marketers are finding more search dollars by poaching budget from print magazine spending, website development, direct mail and other marketing programs.

The SEMPO study released today offered some good news for Agencies, as 53% of advertisers outsource their organic SEO because it is to hard to stay up-to-date with best practices in-house. 37% say they don’t have the right tools, and 33% say they get more bang for their buck with an outside provider.

But overall, a trend to in-house these efforts is still strong. Forrester research shows least two-thirds of U.S. businesses prefer to keep SEM in-house. In-house training and education efforts will probably continue to improve and drive performance gains.