Search Engine Marketing

In search engine marketing (SEM), there are many terms and activities that cause confusion. Some firms that specialize in search engine optimization (SEO) are involved in search engine advertising, then there are search engine marketers that optimize websites. SEM and SEO are two different things, this article will try to clarify the different meanings and how they relate to the overall website optimization and search marketing process.

Search engine marketing (SEM) encompasses a wide variety of skills such as search engine optimization, directory paid inclusion, search engine paid inclusion, vertical search, keyword selection, search engine advertising and several other elements.

Search Engine Spiders

Search engine spiders are also known as crawlers. Search engine spiders find and fetch Web pages, and build a list of words found on each Web page.If a search engine is unable to spider a page, then it cannot include the information about that page in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Common reasons that search engines are unable to spider a site include:

  • Problematic site navigation schemes
  • Problematic URL structures
  • Poor crosslinking
  • Web server issues

Interestingly, your Web analytics software (WebTrends, ClickTracks, Omniture, Urchin, Hitbox, etc.) will tell you how often your site is crawled by search engine spiders. If you change your content frequently, search engine spiders will revisit your site more frequently because search engine companies want to deliver the most accurate, current, and relevant search results.

However, a page will not rank higher just because a spider visits your site more frequently. Spidering and ranking are quite different processes. The terms spider/crawler, index, and rank have three completely different meanings that we will try to clarify.

A page can be included in a search engine index but not have rank. However, a page cannot rank unless it is in the search engine index.

Web site owners should monitor their sites index count every month. An index count is the number of pages that are in the search engine indices. Each search engine has its own way of determining the index count. This can be done manually or with the help of specialized tools.

Search Engine Rankings

Okay everyone, repeat after me: No SEO knows what the search engine algorithm is. Say it five times. Say it 10 times. Say it 100 times or say it more until it sinks in. No search engine marketer knows what a search engine's algorithm is. Nice sales pitch, but one that is just not true.

No one knows exactly how a search engine ranks Web pages. What ethical search engine marketers do is follow the terms and guidelines set forth by the search engines. Unethical search engine marketers try to exploit the loopholes in the terms and guidelines. It is often the unethical search engine marketers who claim to know Google's search engine algorithm.

    Search engine rankings tend to rely on three components:

  • Keyword rich text - A page must contain the words and/or phrases that people type into search queries.
  • Search engines must be given easy access to that text.
  • Other people must consider a page's content to be valuable. If a person thinks content is valuable, that person tends to link to the page that contains the content.