On August 10, 2004, a press release was posted online at pressbox.co.uk, announcing the formation of a group called "Non-Profits in Search."
For businesses, the challenge of getting a site seen above the "noise" of over 4 billion web pages in Google alone manifests itself in many forms. Non-profits have more obstacles to overcome: limited budgets, ignorance of search engine optimization techniques, and competition with commercial companies for pertinent keywords.
Unfortunately, in today's fast-paced cyber-marketplace, non-profits don't get many breaks; like everyone else they have to fund pay-per-click, paid inclusion and other pay-for-performance programs. It has become "pay up or don't be seen" regardless of any other factors, including who the organization is and the worthiness of the cause.
It is a well known fact that non-profit organizations, whether charity-related, religious, or bona fide public services, are typically run by volunteers, and their finances are dependent upon the support of their cause.
The Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO) is one such non-profit organization promoting and providing search marketing services. Run by professional leaders in the industry, they invest their personal time into something they believe in.
Few SEO companies seem to provide discounts for worthwhile causes. An unwary novice stepping into the shark infested waters of SEO can be in for surprises and unexpected costs, as many will attest.
Members of a newly formed group, Non-Profits in Search, note that search engine marketing issues for non-profits have employed time, money and energy competing with the business world. Further they agree that the non-profits' "competition" should be limited to other organizations within this sector.
With this in mind, Non-Profits in Search has been launched; its mission is to help non-profits improve their search engine visibility, while also improving relevancy and the quality of informational search results.
Assisted by the Church of Scientology International this new group will help non-profits gain exposure for the causes they serve.
In the posted press release - accessed on August 10, 2004 - the phrase "Church of Scientology International" (see last paragraph quoted above) included a broken hyperlink to "Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO)." (Note 1)
The press release quoted above was first posted - as an article - on July 26, 2004 at the SEMPO website, albeit with two small differences from the version released at pressbox.co.uk: