These days it looks as though the "killer app of the online ad industry" crown belongs to search. Be it paid search or search engine optimization, for media buyers and planners, figuring out where to start is a thankless and tedious task. Here’s a good place. (a sub-site of is a resource of companies from all over the world providing Search Engine Optimization services. Company details listed include addresses, phone numbers, URLs, services offered, fees, clients represented, and how long they have been around. The seven service categories to search by are Directory Submission, Paid Inclusion Service, Paid Listing Management, Link Building Services, Search-Friendly Design, Host Optimized Pages, and Cloaking Services. You can also do a cold search by company name, but you have to be fairly familiar with the industry. Most companies listed offer at least three of the seven services available, with Cloaking Services (when a search engine spider sees a page different than what a human would see — a practice most search engines tolerate only when it falls into their paid submission programs) being the least popular. —Amy Corr
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