What is SEM?
When you buy ads on any Search Engine Result Pages to initiate a process to drive incoming website traffic, that is called SEM or Search Engine Marketing. Initially, SEMs were meant to mean any and all activities of a market variety on Search Engines, but recently it has come to mean simply paid search advertising. Remember to not confuse it with display ads, that operate using third-party websites as an alternative to search engines for delivery.
How does it work?
- Since advertisers want their ads to pop up when a specific keyword is typed, they select that keyword and keyphrase and add it to the algorithm.
- Then the advertisers have to claim how much they can bid on every click.
- In the event that a consumer does press the relevant keyword, a bunch of ads would display with the highest bidder’s ads coming out on top and other alternatives subsequently.
- If the client decides to check out the first ad, the bidder will be charged for it.
A Brief History of Search Ads
- 1990- Archie, the world’s numero uno search engine was developed by Alan Emtage. This was the first engine to search FTP sites which were then used to create a downloadable file index.
- 1994- Altavista was brought out- leading to the first site which would allow queries in national languages. It also offered unlimited bandwidth and several other features for the first time.
- 1994- Yahoo comes to the foray with its search engine which had its own collection of websites it favored with a description with every URL.
- 1996- Sergey Brin and Larry Page start-up Google- a search engine that would solely explore the relationship between two or more websites.
- 1997- Yahoo gets the chance to buy Google for a measly price of $1 million. They refuse on the deal, and Google as of 2020 has a valuation of over $100 billion.
- 1999- GoTo is formed, which becomes the first company to introduce pay-for-placement for brands to advertise.
- 2000- There is a dearth of online advertisers, as the search engine collapses due to the popping of the dot com bubble.
- 2000- Google becomes the first company to introduce ‘Adwords’, and a new feature called ‘Quality Score’ where they would rate every single website based on the price of bidding and the clickthrough rates.
- 2002- CPC bidding is introduced by Google which allows bidders to start bidding on maximum CPC rather than actual CPC.
- 2004- Google hits a share market peak of 84.7% of all search engine searches, and its valuation reaches $23.1 billion.
- 2005- Google Analytics is introduced which helps the advertisers to have more control over the ads they bring out.
- 2008- Google’s Quality Score feature is updated to allow for more changes to make sure the rankings are appropriate and relevant.
- 2010- Microsoft releases its own search engine called ‘Bing’. They collaborate with Yahoo to start taking control of the market from Google.
- 2014- Advertising on the internet keeps rising, with an increase of over 90% on mobile advertising.
- 2018- Google decided to rebrand the features DoubleClick and AdWords as ‘Google Ads Manager’, and ‘Google Ads’.
- Present Day- Search engines are continuously tinkered with to give the best possible outcome and search results for users- also making it easier for advertisers to bid and place ads.
Why SEM Works for Businesses
SEM works for businesses because it gives a brand much-needed exposure. It also provides a website with consistent traffic and views. An SEM has a large global outreach, and can also use comprehensive targeting capabilities.
Search Advertising Platforms
There are three main search advertising platforms- Yahoo, Bing, and Google. Now, you don’t have to think that these are simply competing with each other. Rather, they do complement each other- thereby taking your ads to different places, and providing multiple perspectives. – Read more