That's right, he said it. Wil Reynolds argues that search firms (and the search pros that work in them) are diminishing their own value in the industry, and driving more companies to develop search in-house.
While it may be logical for a brand to cultivate a search-savvy marketing squad, complete with a few in-house pros, Reynolds says that most companies don't need their own full time search staff. But because there are quite a few search firms that engage in shady tactics and deliver poor customer service, companies are wary of calling in yet another "snake oil seller" and are just doing it in-house.
Reynolds also says that the secretive nature of the outsourced search practice is counterproductive. Search pros attend the same conferences, read the same blogs and often use many of the same resources--but when it comes to telling clients about how it all works, many firms allude to "proprietary" tools and tactics. Sharing the strategy is actually a better way to grow the business, Reynolds argues, as the transparency allows clients to attribute the real benefits they see (be they sales, traffic, leads, etc.) to the search team's efforts.