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The above linked press release from SES NYC show producer, Incisive Media emphasizes the big money in search ADVERTISING or Search Engine Marketing or SEM market in announcing the Search Engine Strategies (SES) show in New York next week. Touting dramatic numbers in the billions of dollars and quoting from studies that confuse, rather than clarify spending in the market – the clear emphasis is a sort of “Oh BOY, Oh BOY! There’s big money in this game we’re playing in!” rather than the importance of organic search to global marketing.

To be sure, there is big money in the search game, but it’s a bit frustrating to see an emphasis placed so strongly in this press release on the “Search Engine Marketing” or “SEM” aspect of the conference and nearly complete disregard for the organic Search Engine Optimization or “SEO” aspect of the industry.

The actual SES show session chart makes me feel better about the real emphasis placed on organic search by Danny Sullivan and the SES conference managers. A quick scan of planned topics and tracks on the event calendar shows organic receiving complete and effective coverage.

But doesn’t promotion of a show affect attendance, media attention and public participation in the show? SEO’s will attend those sessions that help them expand their skillset and extend their overall knowledge of organic search. But those dazzled by the dollars, including the media covering the show, will look all starry eyed at those SEM spending stats and not enough at the SEO effectiveness stats.

I guess it means SEO’s will continue to have a powerful role in the search industry, but will continue to be seen as black magic practicing wizards using voodoo and potions to achieve dramatic results for clients who value SEO. But the clearer ROI from columns of numbers controlled by SEM’s is easier to quantify and understand.

That means that, eventually, more attention will be paid to Click Fraud Sessions until the dollars spent on SEM exceed acceptable conversion numbers in those ROI calculations. Then, unless search engines find enough incentive to effectively battle click fraud in PAID SEARCH, attention will rightly move to organic SEO. I’m really grateful that SEO flies under the radar to keep out the bad guys in black hats