The search engine marketing world is filled with innovators and entrepreneurs. The seemingly overnight explosion of search engine advertising into a billion dollar industry has also afforded quite a few unsavory characters that we could all do without.

Some guidelines exist-- most definitely best practices provided by search providers or publishers, and a precious few have stepped forward to address the issue of taming the Wild West we call the search marketing space. Yet, for a whole lot of good reasons the issue of standards has been left unkempt for the most part.

The Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) Search Engine Marketing Council (SEMC) has taken on the responsibility of search engine marketing standards, but will the initiative gain any ground? Search engine marketing certification by a neutral third party may be the latest step toward doing things right in search.

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