To encompass both Search Engine Optimization and paid search activities, once an umbrella term was introduced named “Search Engine Marketing” abbreviated as SEM. But over time, industry has adopted referring the SEM acronym solely to paid search.
SEM or Paid Search is referred to as paid listings in Search Engine Land with the longer term search marketing used to encompass both SEO and SEM. Some commonly used terms to refer to SEM activities are listed below:
- Paid Search Ads
- Paid Search Advertising
- PPC (Pay-Per-Click) or CPC (Cost-Per-Click)
- CPM (Cost-Per-thousand Impressions )
What is SEM ?
SEM in simple words is a form of internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites with a motive to get more visibility in search engines through optimization as well as by either getting more free traffic (SEO) or by paid traffic (paid search advertising).
Paid Search Advertising or PSA is a method of placing online advertisements by buying advertising space in the search engine results. So, instead of trying for higher ranking and getting free traffic, you pay for appearing in front of the searches.
Google Adwords is the most well-known advertising agency for PSA and is widely used in a company’s SEO and SEM process. Through Google Adwords, you can get your ads appearing in the google search results and you pay only for the clicks on your ads. Due to this the whole process is called Pay-Per-Click or PPC. Other search engines like Bing, Yahoo too have similar system but are not successful or widely known as Google Adwords.