The future of the search engine marketing industry across North America looks pretty solid. As per the SEMPO State of Search Marketing Report 2012, the search industry will touch the $23 billion mark by end of 2012. As compared to 2011, the search marketing industry shows a promising growth of 19%. This report has been compiled by SEMPO and eConsultancy is based on a survey held on May 12- 15, 2012 answered by close to 900 search industry marketers from a total 36 countries around the globe. Of the 900 respondents 64% of them were from the USA. The report further reveals that in the year 2013, the growth rate is expected to be around 13%.

SEMPO Report: SEM Industry to Reach $23 Billion in 2012 & Mobile Internet & Google Algorithm Changes Cause Huge Impacts!

Challenges Faced by the Marketers

The report states that SEM experts’ biggest challenge is sourcing budgets and finding & retaining talented staff. One fact all marketers agree on is that they plan to merge digital with all other channels. Key notifications include:

  • Finding and retaining talented staff a challenge for 21% respondents
  • Digital budgets will rise as expected by 86% respondents
  • Digital budgets will fall as expected by 4% respondents

Google’s Algorithms Caused the Biggest Impact in the Industry

The survey results clearly show that SEM experts faced the biggest upheavals after Google’s recent algorithmic changes- 90% of the respondents held this view. Other impactful changes include rising mobile internet and local search. 87% of the respondents agreed that these algorithmic changes as well as the increasing mobile search have caused “significant” or “highly significant” impact.

SEMPO Report: SEM Industry to Reach $23 Billion in 2012 & Mobile Internet & Google Algorithm Changes Cause Huge Impacts!

It seems that the marketers were affected the most by the Panda Update, the Penguin Updates and the fact that there are more Jolts to come from Google.

The factors with the biggest “significant” impact include:

  • Mobile internet’s rise: 92%
  • Local search rise: 87%
  • Google’s algorithm changes: 85% 

For more information, you can download the report from the SEM Research page.


Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet is also the CEO of SEO Services company PageTraffic which is one of the leading search marketing company in Asia.