Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between SEO and SEM


SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) are two very common buzz words that are used when you want to promote a web site or a product. SEM is simply marketing by aiming to gain visibility in search engine results. This can be done in a variety of ways including: paid placement, contextual advertising, paid inclusion, and, of course, via SEO. So the main difference between SEO and SEM is that SEO is simply one aspect of the much bigger SEM.

SEO is the practice of optimizing a site’s content so that it would rank higher in search engines. This mostly involves the proper distribution of keywords, increasing the number of backlinks, and making it easier for robots to properly index the site. A robot, or spider, is the software used by search engines like Google and Yahoo to index the contents of a page. The index is then used by the search engine to determine how relevant that page is to what the user is searching for.

Other aspects of SEM, like paid placement and paid inclusion, require an additional cash outlay but are not really essential to the site. On the other hand, good SEO should also include making content that is relevant to the user. Even if you manage to get a user to your site with the other SEM methods, he would not stay if there is no usable content on your site. In this regard, it is easy to conclude that SEO is the cheaper option as you would be hitting two birds with one stone. Since you would need content anyway, making sure that it is optimized for the search engine is just a smaller adjustment.

The main disadvantage of SEO is speed. While other SEM styles get results instantly, employing purely SEO produces results in a delayed fashion. This is because it takes some time before the crawlers go through your pages and index them. It is also not advisable for pages that constantly change content because the indexed data may no longer reflect the true content of the page.

To conclude, SEM is a broad topic that covers a lot. SEO is only one part of it, albeit it is the important aspect. With limited resources, SEO is the best option to pursue. But if you want results quickly without concern for the expense, using the full array of SEM techniques should get you instant results.


1. SEO is just one of the components of SEM.
2. SEO is cheaper than full SEM.
3. SEO can take longer to show results than SEM.

Sharing is caring!

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.

1 Comment

  1. Very good article to differentiate with SEO and SEM, last i am trying to search what best for long term for website after reading article that good know about SEO is very good way to optimize business for long term.

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

See more about :
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder