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SEM - Search Engine Marketing

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Definition: SEM is an acronym for the term search engine marketing. Search engine marketing is the act of marketing a website to improve its performance and to get noticed in the search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, or MSN.

Two Major Components of Search Engine Marketing

There are two primary forms of SEM:

  • Paid search marketing - PPC (pay per click) or PPA (pay per action) where ads are placed by the search engine through that engine's search marketing programs (such as AdWords, in the case of Google, for example) and advertisers pay only when a searcher clicks on a displayed ad (PPC) or clicks on an ad and takes a specific action, such as signing up on a website or purchasing a product (PPA).
  • SEO (search engine optimization) where techniques are employed in the hopes of improving a website's search rankings in the natural, or unpaid search results.

SEM is a fairly new, but rapidly growing field. Search engine marketing can be a lucrative career or a profitable home business due to rapidly rising demand for SEM services and a limited, experienced SEM labor pool that employers can use to meet their needs.

Many people who use the term "search engine marketing" or SEM, refer to paid search marketing techniques only and SEO for organic techniques only. In reality, search engine marketing, or SEM, refers to both.

Search engine marketing is one component of Internet marketing.

Also Known As: SEM, search marketing, paid search
Common Misspellings: serach marketing
Examples:
Her company uses a variety of search engine marketing techniques that resulted in her website frequently being listed on the first page of Google search results, both for paid search listing and for organic search listings.
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