The initials SEO and SEM have been used in internet marketing terminology for many years now. SEO stands for “search engine optimization” whilst SEM stands for “Search Engine Marketing”. For anyone looking to make money online, build an online business or just to simply build a website for any purpose, SEO is an essential part of getting your content seen by potential viewers.
Regardless of what you are aiming to get out there into the world wide web, search engine optimization is your key to getting real people viewing your online content and SEM, “search engine marketing” should be your focus if you want to increase the number of people viewing your web pages.
In this article I’m going to be explaining the difference between SEO and SEM and why you need to focus on them both if you want organic search results and a successful website.
What Is The Difference Between Organic Search Results And Paid?
Before we can understand the what SEO and SEM is we must first understand what paid and organic search results are. Within a search engine when we search for something we are presented with both paid and organic search results. The paid results are the adverts seen all over the internet that are designed to entice you to click and visit a website, they are usually seem above the rest of the results and also to the side. The advertiser is basically paying per click for his or her website to be displayed above the organic results so that it can easily be seen, giving the site more exposure.
Organic results are the results shown by the search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing and are the results that are displayed below paid results in the main area of the search window. Paid results may be purchased from the likes of Google to ensure that a website is given a prime position within the search results for a chosen keyword. For example if I owned a website that sold “brown leather shoes” then that might be a keyword that I would be willing to pay for. If I owned a fishing website for example I might purchase an advert to target “extendable fishing rods”, you get the idea. All keywords will of course have more or less search volume depending on the keyword and the targeted niche. Therefore some keywords are very expensive to bid for within the paid search results, making the free organic results very appealing.
Generally speaking, organic search results are gained or earned by creating a webpage that is both appealing to humans and the search engines, although there are other ways of gaining better results that Google do not approve of. Google uses what it calls “search spiders” to collect information from every website and web page that they can find on the internet. This information is returned to the search engines where an algorithm that considers many factors, decides where your website or page should appear (if at all) in the search results. Due to the top 3 spots within most search results being a very valuable position, there are those people that don’t believe that they should work hard to please Google and instead opt for an alternative way to gain the top search positions.
The Problem With Organic Results And Googles Ongoing Battle
Google has an on going problem with people that want to get to the top of the search engines without creating what it considers to be quality content. As we have already said, Google takes many things into consideration when deciding where your page should appear within the search results but because the top results can be extremely valuable, there are those that opt to try and achieve high rankings by manipulating the search results in their favor, this is called “black hat SEO”. The terms Black, Gray And White hat SEO are phrases used to describe what Google does and does not approve of in terms of search engine optimization. White Hat methods being fine to use, gray and black hat are not approved of, although there is some slight tolerance with gray hat techniques.
So What Is SEO SEM And how Do I Use It?
SEO, SEM as we now know stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and “Search Engine Marketing”. SEO covers many techniques used to optimize websites as a whole and individual web pages. The idea of SEO techniques is to make your site more appealing to the search engine robots (or spiders). There are also search engine techniques used outside of the website, called off page SEO methods. It is mainly the off page methods that can be classed as gray or black hat and generally involve something called link building or building backlinks. The combination of all these techniques, used together on multiple pages, no matter if black gray or white hat, is called search engine marketing (SEM), and is the process of attempting to gain high results for multiple keyword phrases for financial gain or higher levels of free traffic from the search results.
Can SEO & SEM Be Used To Make Money Online?
Search engine marketing just a few years ago used to be very different to what it is now. Because so many people have tried to cash in on Google by exploiting the algorithm that it uses, the worlds number one search engine has been forced to clamp down on the people who try to manipulate the search results. The search algorithm is now so advanced that in my opinion you really shouldn’t bother to waste your time on methods that are used to try and cheat your way up to the top. If you would like to read more about these methods please read our article “do backlinks still work” for more information on how we used to do things and how they have changed.
If you are really interested in building a successful website or making money online from an online venture, then the best methods to use every time are the methods that involve a little work to build a quality web page with what Google considers to be quality content. Google will penalize those that it considers to be cheating the system for further gain but will reward those that build large, quality sites full of original content, original text, images and videos.
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