SEM, or search engine marketing, is the process of promoting websites to get them noticed by search engines through a variety of methods. Some of the techniques used in search engine marketing include paid advertisements, search engine optimization, paid inclusion, pay per click advertising, and more. Using the term “search engine marketing” has not been extremely popular compared to the more specific terms of marketing websites. Over $13 billion U.S. dollars were spent on search engine marketing in 2008 alone. Many times, companies looking to optimize their sites pay other third party companies to do it, since it can be rather complex in nature.
The history of search engine marketing, or SEM, will show you that in the beginning of the internet, there really wasn’t a search engine. You had to know the URL or click on links to find your way around. By the mid-1990s, search engines began to appear to help with these problems. Pay per click was begun at this time, and paid searching opportunities for those trying to advertise their website would be born time and again. Google AdWords began in 2000, allowing a very good marketing program for advertisers, and by 2007, PPC, or pay per click, was the predominant figure in online advertising.
This birthed the SEM consultant businesses for many companies to offer their search engine optimization services. This SEM service was in dire need, and continues today to provide many helpful services for companies who don’t have the interest or the time to do this themselves. This helps them to open up their time to focus on their business, rather than the promotion of it. They are the marketing department, outsourced, for the purposes of gaining traffic to the website. Every company who does sales has a marketing department to analyze what’s working and what’s not, and that’ just what they do.
Within SEM practices, there have been some major advances lately within the Search Engine Marketing Management field. They are managing the SEO and pay per click concurrently, and also working web page design and other factors that relate to the experience of the person coming onto the website. Of course, there is some disagreement as to the ethics of such practices, but the truth of the matter is that companies have always done their advertising, and will continue to do so, at any price or using whatever method is necessary. In any case, the search engine marketing practices will continue to develop and unfold in the years to come!