Is Search A Recession-Proof Profession?

"Absolutely," says Josh Gampel, vice president of staffing services for Onward Search, which provides search and social media talent for Fortune 1000 companies and interactive agencies. "Direct marketing spending increased in previous recessions because it was the most trackable form of marketing," he says. "And search engine marketing is the most trackable form of marketing this time around. In fact, we expect SEM spending will double by 2011."

Combine Gampel's statement with the widely accepted belief that hiring and retaining qualified search talent is difficult, and you can see why search pros--including more junior strategists--may be better sheltered from the downturn than their traditional advertising brethren.

So how do you go about finding (or keeping) your recession-proof gig? If you're new to the business--get trained. Try attending SES NYC, currently running through March 20, one of the upcoming SMX sessions, or other search-related conference to brush up on overall industry knowledge and make some contacts. For more hands-on training, try an online course from providers like SEMPO or Bruce Clay.

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