Posted March 5, 2008 10:48 pm by with 9 comments

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The publishers of Search Marketing Standard have taken on a new project, SEM Compare. SEM Compare proposes to provide visitors with an effective way of contributing and looking at user reviews and rating of SEM Companies.

With the site launch planned for March 17th it appears that the project is ratcheting up its attempt to collect review data from anyone willing to take the time to fill out their questionnaire. If you would like to visit the site and share an opinion the site can be found at

For years Marketing Sherpa has been the most well know reviewer in the SEM / SEO space. Right now Marketing Sherpa offers the information that they collect as a download for sale at their online store. A site like this might offer a different set of insights to complement that report.

The real question for me and probably many others is how does SEM Compare plan on vetting the information they are planning on collecting? A site like TheFunded has done a tremendous job at becoming a valuable resource for all entrepreneurs because they vet their members to try to limit the amount of extraneous information that gets submitted to their site.

The Funded has also taken the site to the next level and given the Venture Capitalists a place to have a voice as well. If SEM Compare can perform in a similarly successful way it could become an invaluable resource for the Internet marketing community.

What is your take on a site like this, will it offer value for the community?

  • I’m not crazy about the idea at all. While I’m not affiliated with any SEO/SEM agencies, I can’t imagine that there would be enough information on most places to give interested parties a good idea of the company’s true competence. I certainly hope it doesn’t end up like the SEM equivalent of RipOff Report.

    I think it’s more important to teach people what they need to be looking for. Most of the information you’d want to see is readily available to anyone who wants it.

  • To pay for a service like this may not be feasible. There is plenty of free info on the Internet. A lot of reviews and feedbacks are available for all to read. Probably people with very big marketing accounts would care for their reviews. I doubt a small business owner would consider it.

  • PS3

    I have to agree with your final paragraph Nicole. Educating people to find what they actually need, not what they think they want, is the way forward.

  • Sadly the form has no text box for “URL of site that has been optimized”. This way you can review and bad mouth your competitors.

  • Nicole, I think you hit the nail on the head. A small business owner just won’t be into this. Maybe, just maybe, conglomorates might.

  • Hi Roderick, and everyone – This is Matt, Director of Business Development at Thank you for your interest in the site, I hope you’ll all check it out when we launch on March 17th!
    The site is free to use, we’re excited about how it could help businesses have an easier time comparing and selecting SEM companies. So if any of you have any experiences or insights you can contribute that’d be great.
    We do a number of things to ensure quality reviews: IP address and cookie tracking, name / email research, and in certain cases we’ll contact a reviewer if we suspect suspicious activity. Our goal is to keep the site objective and accurate, and it’ll be our job to make a comprehensive resource people can trust.

    I’d be happy to answer whatever questions you may have, I can be reached at matt (at)

  • “I can’t imagine that there would be enough information on most places to give interested parties a good idea of the company’s true competence”

    Exactly piper. This is just really opinion. It is not like reviewing product lines where you can easily see which product is better than another.

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