SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING
In Internet marketing, Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is a set of marketing methods to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs). The three main methods of SEM are:
Search engine optimization attempts to improve rankings for relevant keywords in search results by improving a web site's structure, content, and relevant backlink count.
Pay per click advertising uses sponsored search engine listings to drive traffic to a web site. The advertiser bids for search terms, and the search engine ranks ads based on a competitive auction as well as other factors.
Paid inclusion can provide a guarantee that the website is included in the search engine's natural listings. However, as of 2006 the leading search engine, Google, does not offer this service.
Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization or SEO aims to index and improve rankings for the webpages which are most relevant to the keywords searched for according to the algorithm of each search engine. The relevant pages are returned in search engine results pages (SERPS). It is important to remember that genuine search engine optimizers are basically marketers who keep their target market in mind as much as the search engine algorithms (a lot of which is known purely empirically). Therefore, while we call this process search engine optimization, good marketers will note that their focus is to optimize their web page for the search engine user, who is their target audience. For instance, at one time it was believed that keyword density was an important ranking factor, but today that view is not generally held among SEO professionals. Today, many SEOs recommend writing copy for visitors first, because the web site cannot achieve its marketing objectives with "unnatural" sounding text, laden with keywords.
In order to further fine tune the pages and keep them user and search engine friendly, the architecture of the website, including its internal link structure, navigation etc., are also suitably modified for human beings and search spiders to navigate through whole website pages. Search spiders then can scan all necessary data about the whole site and store it in the search engines' data base. A good navigation systems has other benefits also, such as helping to improve user experience.
Both the number of inbound links to the site as well as the 'quality' of the links heavily influence the rankings of a site in the search engine. The definition of a 'quality' link is evolving in response to people's attempt to artificially influence the search engine results by obtaining large numbers of 'irrelevant' links to their sites. Search engine algorithms are evolutionary and strive to develop every day in an attempt to provide the most relevant and useful pages to the users and strike out the websites that trick them to attain higher positions for a while.
These processes are known as Organic or Algorithmic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of websites. Search engine optimization takes considerable time and, as such, many sites make use of Pay-per-Click (PPC) to market their website without having to wait for the results of Organic SEO. However, organic search results can get viewed and clicked on frequently, so a dual strategy of SEO and PPC can provide more exposure than either strategy alone.
Pay per click (PPC) and Search engine advertising
Advertising with search engines is known by different names. It is also called sponsored search and search engine advertising. The most popular programs are offered by Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft. Some offer PPC, where the advertiser is only charged when a user clicks on the ad, also known as Cost Per Click (CPC). Others use a Cost Per Impression (CPM) model where advertisers are charged for impressions. Ads can take many forms, including text, banner ads, video ads, map ads, and even audio ads.
Advertising based on a keyword search
Advertising based on a keyword search could take place through a search engine such as google.com, or a search engine partner site, such as shopping.com. For example, Google offers a service called AdWords, which allows companies, for a small fee, to have a link to their website featured when a user searches a specific keyword which the company specified.
Advertising based on content context
Many search engines (e.g. Google, Ask.com, Yahoo! Search) have partner websites with specific content. The websites agree to let the search engines place content-specific advertising on their website, in return for a fee. The search engine then finds companies interested in advertising on websites with their desired content. For example, an online dog food retailer might have their advertisement placed on a site about dogs.
Both of these advertising formats allow advertisers to target specific users with certain interests. Generally these advertisements are paid for based on either a pay per click campaign or an impression based campaign.
Search engines use computer programs called spiders or web crawlers to automatically discover websites and catalog their content. As this process can take some time and requires a website to be linked to from another website (to allow the crawler to find it), most search engines except for Google provide another channel to be included in search rankings via paying. This is different from pay per click advertising because the inclusion is guaranteed but not placement.