The Search Engine Marketing Professional organization just released a report that shows the search marketing industry will grow 16% this year, bringing the industry to account for about $19.3 billion total.

Not only does this statistic reflect the recovering economy as well as the recent hiring boom in Silicon Valley, but it shows the underlying need for outsourced search engine professionals as the field becomes more diverse.  The report highlights a number of interesting statistics on what search engine marketing clients are looking for: 84% are using Facebook, 75% Twitter and 52% Linkedin.

Social media pathways are becoming another necessity for a company to get their brand out there as well as a method to create a feedback mechanism with their customers.   In addition, search engine optimization itself has recently undergone a plethora of changes, most prominently the rising importance of Google Places listings and Page Speed.  Not only does the constantly evolving SEO landscape make it difficult for average users to understand, but it also makes it hard for a company (that isn’t specialized in the field) to keep up.