Reputation Management

Search Engine Marketing: An Overview

Article by Doug Collins









Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a type of internet marketing ploy that aims to promote company-based websites by mounting their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through contextual advertising and user-based paid placement or inclusion. SEM is an umbrella term for website marketing that may include search engine optimization (SEO).

As the number of websites continues to increase since the 1990s, search engines started attracting people to find information in just a single click. SEM developed the use of online business modules in financing services like pay-per-click (PPC) programs. In 1996, Open Text introduced a range of PPC programs to take SEM to a whole new level. Two years later, GOTO was also created to expand the use of SEM in putting up a business. In 2001, Yahoo purchased GOTO’s rights which paved way for getting “payment-based” search opportunities for advertisers (Yahoo! Search Marketing). Google meanwhile began offering advertisements in 2000 via the search results page “Google AdWords”. As of 2007, PPC programs have been making a name in the industry as money-makers. In 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo announced thier forging of an alliance that was immediately approved by the US and European regulators on February 2010.

SEM appears to be a wider discipline incorporated with SEO. It usually includes organic SEO results and paid search results. SEM uses Adwords for advertising, article submissions and SEO utilization. A “keyword analysis” is performed for both SEM and SEO, although they’re not necessary to use in some cases. Both must be closely monitored for frequent updates reflecting web practices.

In several contexts, SEM is exclusively used to generate PPC advertising, particularly in marketing communities and industrial advertising that have vested significance among online marketers. Such usage of SEM in PPC ads excludes the wider SEM industry by engaging in other SEM forms like “Search Engine Retargeting”.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a type of search engine marketing that involves the exploitation of social media in influencing consumers. One of SMM’s theoretical advances is the Search Engine Marketing Management (SEMM) which is deemed relatable to various SEO activities – except that it primarily focuses on investment returns management instead of relevant web traffic building over certain mainstream SEO cases. SEMM has the capability to integrate organic SEOs while trying to gain payable means of getting into the top of search engines.

The issue of paid search advertisements on search result pages has been the target of researches and studies. In 2002, the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Web Watch issued a letter stating the leakage of paid advertisements on search engines. The letter was in response to a complaint filed by the consumer support group, Commercial Alert.

SEM once became a subject of controversy after it was associated with trademark infringement issues. In 2009, Google changed their search engine policy that prohibited SEO and SEM tactics only to allow the parties to bid on specific branded requisites. In February 2011, Google started penalizing companies that are purchasing links without SEO management.



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