Search Marketing or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a type of an online marketing activity that involves in promoting websites by raising its profile on search engine pages through optimising and advertising means. With the help of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Marketing helps in adjusting or rewriting the original content of the website in order to accomplish a better ranking on search engine pages or results.
The term search engine marketing was first introduced in 2001 by Danny Sullivan. This term aimed to address the entire range of actions involved in performing optimisation, handling page listings on search engines, adding sites to directories and building up online marketing schemes for businesses, companies and individuals.
In 2013, American advertisers spent over $ 20 billion on search marketing. Some of the largest SEM marketers include Bing ads, Baidu, and Google AdWords. From 2006, Search Engine Marketing has been growing on a faster scale than conventional modes of advertising and even others means of online marketing. With the help of an SEM vendor or an SEM tool provider, search marketing campaigns are done directly through them and managed by them.
Search Engine Marketing was popularised in early 2003, as prior to that somewhere between mid to late 1990s, popular search engines were instrumental in helping people find data quickly. Over the years Search Engine Optimisation agencies have extended their offerings to various online businesses in understanding and learning about how to use the advertising potentials offered by major search engines. New agencies in the field of search marketing, concentrate mainly on advertising and marketing through the search engines.