Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing, also known as SEM, is an internet marketing strategy that aims to promote certain websites through greater visibility in the search engine result pages. This can be done by using search engine optimization, paying for placement, written ads, and paid inclusion.
Market Structure of Search Engine Marketing
The latest SEM vendors include Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft. Around the year 2006, SEM started to grow so fast that it overshadowed traditional advertising as well as other methods of marketing online. The technology was so complex that the need for a secondary search marketing agency was necessary. SEM is so complex and intricate that most marketers find it hard to understand it. This is the reason why business and website owners rely on third party companies in managing search marketing in their business.
History of Search Engine Marketing
Search engine advertising began to appear around the middle of the 1990’s with its purpose of helping people find information faster. These search engines were developed to become business models for financing their services like pay per click programs from Open Text and Goto.com which is then changed to Overture in the year 2001. After this change, Overture was purchased by Yahoo! In the year 2003 and has developed opportunities for advertisers by using paid search through Yahoo! Search Marketing. During this time, Google has started offering ads on the pages of search results though Google Adwords program. In the year 2007, pay per click programs became money-makers for search engines and has proven to be good at it. Google ruled the advertising scene. This made Yahoo! and Microsoft to form an alliance to become stronger and soon overpower the success of Google. Search engine optimization consultants started to expand their services in order to provide help to businesses in learning about the proper and effective use of advertising opportunities which are offered by most search engines. New agencies which focus on search engine marketing and advertising also emerged during this time. The term SEM covers activities including SEO performance, paid listings management, directory submission, and the development of marketing strategies for organizations, businesses, as well as individuals. New theoretical advances have emerged such as SEMM or Search Engine Marketing Management which is involved in the management of return on investment instead of the building of relevant traffic. This also integrates SEO and Pay per Click SEO.
Search Engine Marketing Ethical Questions
There are numerous controversies revolving around paid search advertising. One is how search engines incorporate ads on search result pages. This has been a target of various reports and studies. Even the Federal Trade Commission or FTC issued a letter containing why it is important to disclose paid advertising on online search engines. This was written as a response to a complaint from Ralph Nader and his consumer advocacy group. The issue of trademark infringement also became a controversy with regards to search engine marketing. There was a debate on whether it was appropriate for third party vendors or agencies to bid on the brand names of their competitors. This made Google change their policy from prohibiting 3rd parties to bid on branded names to granting them permission on doing so as long as the landing page of their website actually contains additional information about the trademark term they have mentioned. Despite the changes in policies, Google still faces the same controversy. All Search Engine Marketing Firms need to incorporate the above stratagies for their clients.