The 2012 SEO Industry Survey is Out!

Back in March 2012, SEOmoz ran an industry survey that collected responses from 6,491 marketers from more than 100 countries, where the majority of the professionals that participated in the survey have between 5 to 10 years of experience.

If you did not read the full results of the survey you missed out on several interesting questions and answers from the survey that were not discussed by Rand Fishkin’s post , nor on the summary of the survey results.

Percentage of inbound marketing actions employed by Marketers:

As you can see from the graph above, link Building was done by only 4.8% of marketers, most focus on content, social media to gain quality natural links. If we look at the detailed questions and compare the answers to the previous survey, the results have not decreases as they should, taking in consideration the latest Google updates:


Percentage 2010

Percentage 2012

Hired an outsourced link building firm or contractor to assist with link acquisition


Bought links directly from other websites/webmasters


Bought links through a link broker or service


How many keyword rankings are being tracked by project:
As you can see below, professionals that said that didn’t track any rankings decreased in 2012, with all of the movements and difficulty in tracking rankings:


With the increasing difficulty in tracking and Google showing so many different results in the SERP, my prediction is that next survey the “I don’t track rankings” answers will increase.

Demand for Consulting Services
The majority of the professionals answered that Social Media and/or Community Management, SEO Consulting Services, Event Planning and exhibition, Local SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization, Link building, Offline Marketing/Advertising, Copywriting, Analytics, Content Marketing and Public relations are increasing in demand:


52% of the services mentioned in this question are being demanded even more by clients, which is great for our industry. Also notice that within these demanded services the majority is inbound marketing oriented.

How do you feel about the ethical standards about the following search engines, social media sites, tech companies, etc.
As you can see in the graph below, the most trusted company is wordpress, while the least trusted company is AOL.


Future predictions about these trends:
a) Bing/Yahoo! will increase their share of US searches by 5%+ in the next 18 months
b) Due to Google’s Panda and G+ authorship, site and author ownership of content will become even more important
c) Facebook will dominate the social media industry over other social channels/brands
d) Google Plus will become massively influential in SERPs
e) Mobile use/adoption will substantially change how we do marketing
f) More companies will shift their focus and budgets from paid marketing to inbound marketing / earned media
g) Online ad fatigue will contribute substantially to lower ROI for paid marketing
h) Other social networks will grow to be substantial competitors for Facebook
i) Specialists will dominate the field and generalist inbound/organic marketers will be less important
j) Generalists who combine inbound/organic techniques and expertise will dominate compared to specialists


The prediction “f. More companies will shift their focus and budgets from paid marketing to inbound marketing / earned media” is a present trend in the industry if we see the data of the services that are increasing in demand.

These data was the buried treasure that Rand was talking about. Did you find anything else that interested you or did you arrive to other conclusions from these data?

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