Every seconds of the day, all around the world, millions of people use search engines to find content on the Internet. Search engines are web-based programmes that index the web and allow people to find what they are looking for.
Often, “Search” or “search marketing” is used to refer to the industry that has built up around search engines.
There are many search engines available on the planet earth, and more are coming up every other day. But like you may suspect, there are some very popular ones that have become well known internationally. They are just 3 and include Google, Bing and Yahoo.
A statcounter most recent study on search engine market share in the world has some very interesting stats on these industry leaders. The data available shows that not only is Google topping the list, it records a very wide margin in comparison with other available search engines.
The study also has a lot of data on the market share of these search engines in different continents of the world. From Africa to United Kingdom, United States of America and even Asia, we have some interesting data that anyone with a business thinking cap will find very interesting. In the search market share statistics for Africa for instance, we still see Google topping the list with amazing figures as we see below:
When we talk about “search”, we are referring to two different kinds of results.
Types of Search Results
In a basic term, we have two different kinds of search results. They are the organic search results and the paid search results. Find the explanation of both of them below.
organic search results
Organic search results can be seen as the primary product of a search engine. Earlier, these results are the listings generally found on the left hand side on the search engine results. But Google made some changes on the search appearance such that the organic search results and the paid search results (which we shall talk about below) all appear on one column.
One important distinguishing factor about the organic search results is that they are not influenced by financial payment. This may be one of the reasons they are also called the natural search results. To succeed with the organic search results, it needs to be consistently reliable. That’s the only way you can attract and keep users.
Paid Search Results
The second kind of results is the Paid search, also known as Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. It involves the displaying of sponsored results alongside the organic results. By sponsored, it means that there must be some kind of financial incentive to have the results appear on google search results pages (SERPs). As an advertiser, you can bid for placement, and pay the search engine when your advert is clicked on.
Earlier, the Paid search results are usually displayed at the top and on the right side of the SERPs, but this too was changed after Google revisited their search result appearance.
Both paid and organic results are now displayed on a single column, with the major difference being that an “Ad” which stands for Ads (or Advertisement) is attached to the left side of all paid search results.
Since we’ve being using the term, search engines here and there, it’s good we understand what the search engines do before we get fully into what search engine marketing is all about in this 2019.
What does a search engine do?
- In its most simplest way, Search engines have four main functions:
- They crawl the Web (via spiders).
- They index the Web documents and pages they find.
- Search engines process user queries.
- Finally, they return ranked results from the index.
There are 4 major parts that all work together to make the above functions successful.
A crawling spider, also known as a web crawler, robot or bot, is an automated indexing program. It goes from page to page, following links and indexing or recording what it finds.
The index is what the spider creates. It is a “library” of pages on the Internet and it consists of tens of billions of pages! The search engine creates databases for keywords, so it knows where to go to when a user enters a query.
The engine is the part that does the actual searching. Users input a search query by typing a keyword or phrase into the search bar. The engine then checks its index to find relevant pages and delivers them ordered from most relevant and important to least relevant and unimportant.
The SERP (search engine results page) is the ordered listing of results for the user’s query. A SERP contains a description and link to the result.
Types of Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing (SEM) has two arms: search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising. These correspond to the two types of search results.
Both are the two sides of the one term, Search Engine Marketing. And as such, it’s good we understand what we stand to get or lose by choosing one over the other and even how much strength both could have combined together.
Search Engine Marketing Pros and Cons
Assuming that you are ready to invest into either SEO or PPC today and you would have to choose one over the other, there are things you would stand to gain by using one over the other. And there are also things you will likely stand to lose.
The infographic below provides good details about both SEO and PPC as the two arms of search engine marketing and their pros and cons.
SEO aims at improving a web site’s ranking in the natural search results while PPC advertising involves bidding for placement in the paid search results section of the SERP.
To be successful with seo, you have to make sure you carry out all on-site optimization and off-site optimization strategies to see your terms appear in the search results.
When you want to bid for placement during a PPC campaign, you can bid for any position in the search results. The 3 best postions are the first, second and third. While the first and the second are always the most expensive, it’s still marginal safe to bid for the third position. That can still get you some good clicks while saving you some good dollars.
If you need help with executing a search engine marketing campaign for your business, Elinae is here to help you. We can help you execute either an SEO campaign or a PPC campaign, or even both. Reach out to us today by calling our phone line (+234) 812 656 9950 or contacting us online.