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Search engine marketing

Online Advertising

Search engine marketing

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia, by MultiMedia

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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 are:

  • Search engine optimization, or improving rankings for relevant keywords in search results by rectifying the website structure, and content such that they could be easly read and understood by the search engine's software programs. It is seen that website containing the latest trends and updates are first available to the visitor.
  • Search engine advertising, or paying the search engine company for a guaranteed high ranking or an ad displayed aside the results (commonly known as pay per click advertising).
  • Paid inclusion, or paying the search engine company for a guarantee that the website is included in their natural search index.

Search engine marketers are experts and firms who explore of weaknesses and strengths in the methods and individual products to find the best way to promote a particular website in search engines.


Search engine optimization

Main article: search engine optimization

Search engine optimization 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 result pages(SERPS). Basically this is done by writing a naural copy of each page containing the keywords that genuinely represent the goods and the services described within the corresponding webpages. Keywords are also used in the Title Pages, Meta Tags, Headings within a density of about 6% i.e., about 6 keywords spread over a page containing 100 words.

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 nevigate through whole wbsite pages. Search spiders then can scan all necessary data about the whole site and store in engines' data base. A good navigation systems imparts excellent experience to the users and they tend to visit the site again and again. This a sign of good achievement.

Numbers of inbound links to the site and the 'quality' of the links determine the Reputation of the website within the industry it belong to. This Reputation is one of the most important criteria for search engines to consider higher levels of rank to the deserving webpages. Algorithms are evolutionary and strives to develop every day in an attempt to provide most relevant & useful pages to the users and strike out the websites that trick them and attain higher positions for a while.

These processes are known as Organic or Algorithmic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of websites. Eventually it is essential for each and every website to get optimized organically, though temprarity they can make use of Pay-per-Click (PPC) to market their website without having to wait for the results of Organic SEO. However, users still prefer Organic Result Pages than Pages for which Advertising charges are paid to search engines. So far for inclusion in Organic Result Pages no fees are prescribed except the high usefulness of the information to the users.

Search engine advertising

Advertising with search engines is known by different names. It is also called sponsored search. Advertising with search engines could be further classified as follows:

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, 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.

Paid inclusion

Main article: paid inclusion

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.

Ethical considerations

Many forms of search engine optimization only amount to ensuring compliance to search engines' guidelines for inclusion and removing any technical barriers that might keep the website from reaching a proper ranking. However, other methods of search engine optimization such as keyword spamming are often viewed as "gaming the system" and considered unethical. See the article on search engine optimization for details.

Displaying advertisements or sponsored results in an area visually separated from the algorithmically determined results is generally considered ethical. However, some search engines allow the ranking of a website to be influenced with a payment and provide little or no indication to the end-user that this has happened. Since the search engines give the impression or claim that the rankings reflect the relevance or popularity of the websites, this is often seen unfair or deceptive.

Search engine advertising products that don't guarantee a specific ranking or an amount of visibility are seen as unethical by some search engine marketers. The product might provide an unspecified "boost" or the final ranking or visibility might be a result of an auction.

Paid inclusion has not caused much concern. However, it has been suggested that search engines should improve the speed they pick up new websites and that paid inclusion services thus create a conflict of interest that discourages improving service levels across the board.


External Articles


Industry resources

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