SEM Certification Program Launches at DMA06

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The Direct Marketing Association has created a certification program in search engine marketing, and it will launch at the DMA Annual Conference and Exhibition Oct. 14-19 in San Francisco.

The DMA Search Engine Marketing Council initially highlighted the need for such a program, and major engines like Yahoo, MSN and Google are cooperating.

"DMA recognizes the impact the rapid growth of search engine marketing ... has and will continue to have on the direct marketing process," said Laura Colona, director of media relations at the DMA, New York. "The Search Engine Marketing Council identified a need for training that is both credible and enhances the performance of its members."

Changes in the marketplace, which occur almost daily, have profound effects on the tactics and knowledge that a search engine marketer must use, she said, and this program will help address that.

Program participants will learn up-to-date best practices as determined by the search engines. The programs aim to be modular to ensure they respond to marketplace changes in organic or paid search marketing.

Marketers seeking certification must apply to the program and get accepted, complete coursework, pass a test and complete ongoing recertification. The program will be composed of two levels of certification.

Attendees at DMA06 who sign up for the certification program will become members of the first class of applicants for the DMA certification program.

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