The online economy is booming and a resurgence of the 1999 dot-comedy mindset has returned. The pay-for-performance search space has also re-invigorated interest in the revenue share, or performance-based, compensation model, for search and the agency.

Every agency struggles with compensation. But the search engine marketing world has the distinct advantage of being young enough to avoid suffering from the pains of working within the overcrowded traditional media marketplace.

The upside of being in a relatively new field is the latitude one enjoys when constructing compensation models. The downside is a lack of standards and accepted practices for new client acquisition. Having been on both sides of the equation, I can safely say that selecting a partner (a.k.a. vendor) in search can be one of the most complicated processes.

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