SEMcares Links Search Marketers With Nonprofits

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Trying to inject some emotion into a logic-driven industry, SEMcares is encouraging nonprofit groups to participate in search engine marketing in hopes of boosting traffic to their Web sites.

The company is asking members of the search marketing community to contribute coding/pay-per-click setup time or financial contributions to boost search engine optimization.

"SEMcares.com was inspired by the tsunami event of late 2004," said Gregory Markel, CEO of Infuse Creative and founder of SEMcares.com. "I watched as many other types of industries banded together to help raise funds for the disaster, and I thought, 'Why not the SEM industry?'" Mr. Markel and a programmer then created the site at www.semcares.com.

Mr. Markel highlighted two ways that SEMcares.com could help organizations. The first is by inspiring other SEM/SEO providers to contact these nonprofits and volunteer their search engine marketing services directly.

Volunteer SEM providers also can set up personally funded accounts to try to drive traffic to the organization of their choice. Nonprofits can register through an automated process, which adds them to a database where volunteers can find them.

"We've seen through our own experience that volunteer and discounted SEM services can exponentially increase the search engine visibility, visitors and donations to deserving organizations," Mr. Markel said.

Just $20 spent at Google generated 86,758 RedCross.org ad impressions and 907 donation page visitors, he said. If only 1 percent of those 907 visitors each donated $10, that would equal $90 worth of donations that would have not been received without the search engine marketing.

"Search engine marketing as a group has not had a history of altruistic endeavor," he said. "SEMcares.com brings that consideration to light. There is no involvement or benefit unless they are on the unfortunate receiving end of a disaster, in which case SEMcares and the SEM industry's volunteer providers can make a difference."

SEMcares is working with the Red Cross, United Nations, Live 8, One.org, joinred.com, CARE and Habitat for Humanity.

"Our purpose is to get the search engine marketing industry to become more aware of SEMcares.com and its purpose," Mr. Markel said. "We also would like to inspire search engine marketers to use their skills altruistically."

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