Scope of Search Engine Marketing in India

Hindu has an interesting interview with Vivek Bhargava, CEO, Communicate2 which calls itself a paid search company. I have seen that there a...

Hindu has an interesting interview with Vivek Bhargava, CEO, Communicate2 which calls itself a paid search company. I have seen that there are a large number of Search Engine Marketeers(SEM) agencies and Search Engine Optimizers(SEO) in India however i wondered whether there is a market for these companies. I had earlier reported on how Search Engine Market in India is at about half a million searches a month which might seem big but is actually quite small when you compare it with USA which has 213 million queries per month and if you go with overoptimistic comscore data it is 61 billion queries per month globally(including eBay) then the realization comes that the market is quite big if you are looking at an outsourcing model .
However coming back to Communicate2 it seems to have done a good work and i am quite interested in how they are targeting Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME's) in India. Globally if you look at the most high paying keywords its easily seen that they come from small businesses like lawyers,doctors etc and they are targeted when somebody is looking for a query like " lawyer in New York". In India however the focus on looking for information over net is still low but it can still create business for example this story told by Bhargava

A year back I was having a drink with a friend – he introduced me to someone. During general discussion I told him of what I did, and he told me what he did – he turned out to be a salsa instructor! He asked me what we could do for him. I asked him “what is your budget?” He said something that I will never forget – ‘what budget yaar – get me a student who pays me, I will pay you *smile*’.

To cut the long story short I was one too many drinks down and I said ‘yes’ to his request. Today Communicate2 gives him nearly 15 to 20 students every month and I believe that he ranks among the highest in profit margin for us.Let’s not forget that 60 per cent of India is self-employed. There are millions of SMEs who are willing to pay for customers that someone can acquire for them.

Communicate2 seems to be working with lot of big Indian players like ICICI,Rediff etc however I was however let down by their website design and was shocked to see that they have not put any case studies on their websites which is actually an important aspect of marketing to big international players and is used by IT outsourcers to woo international clients.It is now looking to expand and hopesto grow to 200 people team from current 125 people team over the next three to six months and their target is to build a 1,000-people contextual advertising team over the next 2.5 years which suggests that it is a company worth watching. However with no such institutes providing any courses in this field most of SEO and SEM are those who have learnt it by themselves so finding the right kind of person would be a challenge for them .Read the interview here


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