» Search Engine Marketing SEMplified
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has grown significantly in importance as more commerce is conducted on line. In 1999, approximately 5% of computer users bought goods or services from an on-line source. In 2004, the estimates go as high as 40% of computer users. The general population has become more comfortable with questions of security, and the ease of click-and-checkout simply can’t be beat.
This is why search engine optimization (SEO) has become so critical to businesses that maintain a presence on the Web. SEO specialists offer a variety of services designed to improve a site’s PageRank (PR), which, in turn, generates more traffic. Unfortunately, there is SEO software, SEO on-line tools and SEO companies that simply don’t deliver on their promises, in part, because SEO parameters are fluid, to say the least.
The largest search engine is still Google with over 8 billion pages of searchable text. However, with the demise of the Yahoo/Google partnership, Yahoo’s SE has been taking share from Google and the new kid on the block, the MSN search engine, has both the technical and financial resources to become a real contender in no time.
But what can you do to improve your site’s traffic without being ripped off by software optimizers and companies that promise the moon but deliver nothing more than promises? Well, the fact is, no one is going to look after your site with the fervor and intensity that you will. No single optimizer software, or cookie cutter optimization strategy, is going to achieve the results you’re looking for. So, the best course you can take is to learn the basics of SEM and apply them to your site.
The purpose of Search Engine Optimization is to improve your site’s PageRank. A site with a PR 7 gets a lot of traffic. A PR 3, less than half the traffic of the PR 7 site. The importance of page rank is simple — it determines where your site shows up on the results pages delivered in response to users’ queries.