What is the difference between SEO and SEM?

Often there is confusion between these two terms but the difference is stark and actually very simple.

SEM or Search Engine Marketing is any means by which a website is promoted through search engines including paid ad programmes or Pay Per Click (PPC) programmes such as Google Adwords, Map Results such as Google Local Business Centre (now Google Places) or SEO techniques.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is about the techniques used to improve a page’s position on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).  Techniques used here consist of improving content on a page to better match what customers are searching for, and building up the popularity/importance of a site through link building.

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