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To compare the two optimization techniques SEO and SEM, we first need to know and understand the basics of both of them in terms of their purpose and use. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is a process of increasing the ranking of a website or webpage in search engine results page or SERP by increasing the traffic flow of that particular website. It is renowned to be one of the best processes to be applied in order to increase the ranking of a particular website. On the other hand, SEM or Search Engine Marketing is one form of Internet based marketing. Just like normal marketing the purpose of SEM is to promote websites. It does this by increasing the visibility of the website in the search engines search results page. But one thing that needs to be understood is that SEO is not SEM and vice versa.


Search Engine Optimization or SEO is only an element or component of Search Engine Marketing or SEM. SEO focuses on optimizing websites for local or global search engine. On the other hand, SEM is a much broader concept. It focuses on marketing websites via search engines, whether by improving the ranking or sponsored listings or a combination of both. Widely used SEM techniques are video marketing, pay per click advertising, social network marketing, search engine optimization, and article marketing etc. The purpose of SEO is to examine a particular website and find technical difficulties that might be preventing a search engine from accessing the website content and then to identify the most relevant website content and improve the webpage elements in order to assist the search engine to index the content much more efficiently and effectively. Whereas, the purpose of SEM is to purchase Google AdWords or other marketing media line banner ads. Search Engine Marketing is very much controllable. It allows the user to decide what to spend, which words or phrases to purchase and to which page the ads should be linked to.

Now the important question is which method should be used SEO or SEM? The first to understand is that whatever is used SEO or SEM, SEO is used in both of them. The reason for this is that SEO is a component of SEM, so if someone uses SEM he is also using SEO as its component. It is known that search engine marketing is one type of internet marketing where individuals give certain amount of get a special position in the result page. But overall SEM is less beneficial than SEO. The reason for this is that, the online visitors or customers may seldom click on these paid links resulting in loss to both the organizations money and resource.

In conclusion, search engine optimization or SEO is simply a component of search engine marketing or SEM. One is used for managing a website and the other is used for marketing it. The choice of which tool to used is left on the requirement of the owner, the developer, the consultant and the need of the online marketing status.

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