A new charter designed to accredit search engine marketing (SEM) companies following best practice has been released.

Put together by the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Search Council (IAB) and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) the charter claims to encourage a standard to which SEM companies can follow.

It is also suggested that this standard and its accompanying criteria will help increase confidence within the industry.

According to a statement accompanying the charter it "offers a self-certifying formal framework of best practice for any company operating within search marketing".

This framework consists of four individual criteria – to which SEM companies must be able to comply with to display the charter logo.

This includes having at least two employees dedicated to search and the attainment of search engine accreditation from Google corporate or Microsoft’s adExcellence Program.

It is stated that companies wishing to comply with the charter must have been trading for at least six months and be a member of one of five currently listed trade organisations.

Research conducted recently by webitpr said that from 101 respondents, 99 per cent said that online presence was either important or very important.

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