For the past 5 years or so, Marketing Sherpa has published a buyer’s guide for SEO and recently, SEO/SEM firms. The initial guide ranked the search marketing companies which caused a bit of a stir, since it’s hardly a consistent industry to measure. What followed was a report that was less of a guide to SEO and SEM firms per se and more of a guide about the industry and tips for choosing an agency. The listings for each SEO/SEM firm were self reported.
Mike Murray recently wrote on the Fathom SEO blog that he thought there won’t be any future guides being published. I emailed Anne Holland and she confirmed this was true, saying that Marketing Sherpa will be focusing their efforts on the Benchmark Guides and because of the inherent difficulty in providing qualitative evaluations of each SEO and SEM service.
She also commented on the Fathom blog: