Please Note: This article was last updated in 2003.
This chiseled comic-book hero, Search Engine Marketing Man, used to be my alter-ego for my search engine consulting business.
He even had his own web site (searchenginemarketingman.com), but I decided to drop the super-hero facade and include him on my main LarrySwanson.com web site.
Search engine marketing is an umbrella term which encompasses search engine optimization, search engine submission, paid-inclusion programs, directory listings, pay-per-click (PPC, sometimes call CPC, or cost-per-click) keyword advertising at Overture and with Google’s AdWords program, and other search marketing techniques.
Search Engine Positioning
Search engine positioning is a another term you sometimes hear. As I understand it, this term is roughly synonymous with search engine marketing i.e., it encompasses both “free” search engine optimization techniques and PPC keyword buys. In fact, I think the term search engine positioning applies better to PPC keyword buys, since that is the only search engine marketing method that actually gives you some fairly predictable control over the position of your web site in search engine results pages (SERPs).
This raises the issue of guaranteed search results. You want to evaluate carefully any proposal from a search engine marketing firm that promises to give you guaranteed positioning at the search engines. Given a large enough budget, it is actually fairly easy to do this with PPC campaigns. For example, if you bid a high enough amount to buy a slot in the first three results for your keyword at Overture, and you will get a high position in results at Yahoo, HotBot, and other important search sites.
Search Engine Marketing
This page created 12/6/01; last updated 11/21/03.