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SEO Industry Survey 2012 - How Google’s Free Tools Dominate Online Marketing Industry

Back in March in this year, SEOmoz conducted an Industry Survey that grabbed attention of almost 6500 people in more than 100 countries. From independent consultants to agency SEOs to in-house marketers, they got to see responses from a wide swath of the industry's demographics. Almost half of the respondents (47.3 percent) were from the U.S., and 77 percent were males.

By looking at the Industry Survey it emphasizes the fact that traditional SEO is alive and well being the 2nd highest-demand service area (71% of respondents), and SEO is the top priority for both individuals and their teams. 

Organizations are heavily focused on Online Marketing where SEO, Social Media & Analytics, two pretty big buckets. According to the survey most respondents (92 %) have SEO services as part of their mix followed by Analytics (82 %) & Social Media (70%).

These are the top 5 service areas that our respondents believe are growing (as % of respondents):

Here are the top 10 inbound marketing focused actions that respondents actually spent their time doing (as % of respondents):

It is very important to notice that the SEO industry relies heavily on the free SEO-related tools provided by Google. These free tools are changing the game, with an incredible 93% of respondents using Google Analytics. Google announced a new version of Google Analytics which introduces a whole new user experience.  

Some of the new features in Google Analytics version 5 include;

Navigation Changes and Account Management

Multiple Dashboards (and Widgets)

Events as Goals

Powerful Custom Reports

Term Cloud Visualization

Advance Segment Changes &

Interactive Help


Keyword research is the foundation of successful search engine optimization. Even though there are a number of free and paid online tools to help you identify your potential keywords and analyze, Google’s free tools have been able to protect its top positions with an incredible 88.3% of respondents using Google’s official Ad Words keyword research tool followed by Google Insights (58.6 %).



In the last 12 months, here are the top 10 free tools respondents have used (* denotes tools that also have paid versions):

It is clear that free tools from Google have been able to rank highly on this list with a significant usage of Google Webmaster Tools ( 83% )

That’s just a snapshot of the 2012 SEO Industry Survey. Full results are available on SEOmoz.


Join The Conversation

  • Sep 6 Posted 4 years ago chooley

    Well thank you Osanda for putting it together in such a reader friendly way; and thanks to SEOMoz for doing a very helpful survey. 

  • Aug 28 Posted 4 years ago Osanda Cooray

    Actually we should thank SEOMoz for conducting such a Industry Survey. 

  • Mahendra's picture
    Aug 28 Posted 4 years ago Mahendra Osanda Cooray special thanks for bringing this article here, it's really a great analysis, I agree that Google webmaster tools have being used by mostly right now
  • muralikrishna's picture
    Aug 28 Posted 4 years ago muralikrishna

    Hi Osanda,

    Thanks for posting such an informative post. It is real that day by day the the rate of social users are becoming more and more spicially facebook and twittr users. Mainly they are getting more popular because of sharing analysis. By all thses stratgies the onlin marketing is being getting affected. Google analytics percetage of usage has become decreased to a lower value. By monetering above snapshot we can say that servey statitics were varing year by year.......

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