Search Engine Marketing

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(Redirected from Search Engine Marketing)

Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). SEM methods include:

· search engine optimization (or SEO)

· paid placement,

· contextual advertising

· paid inclusion


In 2006, North American advertisers spent US$9.4 billion on search engine marketing, a 62% increase over the prior year and a 750% increase over the 2002 year. As of 2006, SEM was growing much faster than traditional advertising and even other channels of online marketing.


As the number of sites on the Web increased in the mid-to-late 90s, search engines started appearing to help people find information quickly. Search engines developed business models to finance their services, such as pay per click programs offered by Open Text in 1996 and then Goto.com in 1998. Goto.com later changed its name to Overture in 2001, and was purchased by Yahoo! in 2003, and now offers paid search opportunities for advertisers through Yahoo! Search Marketing. Google also began to offer advertisements on search results pages in 2000 through the Google AdWords program. By 2007, pay-per-click programs proved to be primary money-makers for search engines.


Search engine optimization consultants expanded their offerings to help businesses learn about and use the advertising opportunities offered by search engines, and new agencies focusing primarily upon marketing and advertising through search engines emerged. The term “Search Engine Marketing” was proposed by Danny Sullivan in 2001 to cover the spectrum of activities involved in performing SEO, managing paid listings at the search engines, submitting sites to directories, and developing online marketing strategies for businesses, organizations, and individuals.


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1 comment so far

  1. Wes - PR Distribution on

    I think it’s important to note that SEM covers all marketing on the web, but SEO only covers “natural” or “organic” methods of web promotion.


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