SEO - SEM - What an earth are they?!

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By Guy Levine
on 14/5/08

Today I was speaking for a Vistage group, which is a group of business owners who meet monthly with a facilitator/mentor to hear a leading speaker and share issues they are facing in their business. Today I was a groups speaker.

One of the members asked me to explain the difference between SEO and SEM

SEO stands for Search engine optimisation. SEM stands for Search engine marketing.

SEO is the process of raising a website up the natural listings of Google or any other search engine. This is commonly the results on the left hand side. This optimisation occurs through a process of editing the writing of the site, the coding of the site and generating incoming links into the site.

SEM is the process of paying for adverts which appear on the search engines, in Google’s case, adwords which show up on the right hand side.

Each have their own merits, and I believe for a successful campaign, both are needed.