I have recently read an article from 'New Media Age' which has been talking about a very interesting professional search marketing qualification which is coming out from The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) which will be the first of its kind! The qualification has been backed by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo and will no doubt revolutionise the search marketing and internet marketing industries, which largely have little or no standards of qualification currently.
The Search Certificate is for entry-level search marketing practitioners, going up to 2 years and will cover both SEO and PPC best practice and very much places the importance on leveraging both online marketing channels.
It is IPA's aim to educate new starters and graduates of IPA member companies to receive a formal education into the practices and knowledge of search and PPC. It will base heavily on the client side of providing search marketing by helping them to take a search marketing brief and use this to meet the expectations of the client, while also being very understanding of the frustrations that some companies have and the ways and means to best handle this.
This shift towards qualification of search marketers will be a great standard in the market which largely is littered with many agencies and individuals who can easily claim to be experts in the field without any certification & qualifications needed. This will only make the online marketing industry more respected and cement the role of search marketing as a definite, qualified marketing practice with professional qualifications like this available.
Too long have there been companies or individuals who have used this lack of quality benchmark to offer substandard work to companies who have seeked out help from knowledgeable individuals in the online marketing industry. This professional qualification will offer a yardstick to companies who are seeking help with their online marketing practices to pick individuals and agencies who know what they are doing and have the qualification to prove it.