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) through the use of search engine optimization, paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion. Usage of the term “search engine marketing” has been inconsistent. The trade association Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) includes search engine optimization (SEO), and SEO is also included in the industry definitions of SEM by Forrester Research, e-Marketer, Search Engine Watch, and industry expert Danny Sullivan. However, the New York Times restricts the definition to ‘the practice of buying paid search listings’.
In 2008, North American advertisers spent US$13.5 billion on search engine marketing. The largest SEM vendors are Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft ad Center. As of 2006, SEM was growing much faster than traditional advertising and even other channels of online marketing. Because of the complex technology, a secondary “search marketing agency” market has evolved. Many marketers have difficulty understanding the intricacies of search engine marketing and choose to rely on third party agencies to manage their search marketing.

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