SEM and PPC are often used interchangeably when talking about paid search advertising online, but in truth they are very different and should not be. SEM is simply to search engine optimization in the broadest meaning this means the promotion of a web site in the search results generally through sponsored search ads on various search engines, most commonly Google, Yahoo, and Bing (yes it still exists).
The main differences between SEM and PPC are how much money is paid out by the advertiser and how much time the search engine displays the search result. In addition, Google has become very dominant in search engines and Google AdWords is currently the top pay per click tool. Because of these differences the amount of money that a searcher will have to pay to use Google is generally less than paying for an ad on a site that ranks high for a specific keyword.
One of the main differences between SEM and PPC is how the results are displayed by the search engine. SEM uses the PageRank algorithm to display the results in a more organic way. This results in a more natural look and feel that is intended to produce better, more relevant results for the searchers. The problem with SEM is that it can have a negative effect on search engine rankings if the results are not presented in a relevant way.
Google AdWords is the main pay per click tool for online businesses and it is widely considered the best tool available for the advertiser. Google AdWords allows the advertiser to place ads on sites where people are likely to be searching for a particular item.
When using Google to search for a keyword, the advertiser can either use PageRank to search for a keyword by name or PageRank + Keywords which searches for a specific keyword within a certain set of searched keywords. The advertiser is then rewarded for the number of click-throughs, called impressions, from each keyword that is listed.
SEM is a good way to start search-engine optimization as it provides a great foundation for building off of. SEO or search engine optimisation. It also gives you an idea of what keywords people are looking for which can help you find ways to improve your site and the page rankings in Google.
A big benefit of using SEM and PPC for SEO is that the advertiser gets a lot of exposure. By ranking high in Google and then getting your website listed in their search results the searchers can more easily find you, which increases your chances of converting them to customers.
Another difference between SEM and PPC is that Google’s pay per click system has a higher cost per impression. This means that the advertiser is only rewarded for the number of impressions they get from each click. Therefore, while having the same number of impressions and not the total number of clicks made on the ad.