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The History of SEM

Read About the History of Search Engine Marketing, Including Google AdSense, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has a history that is almost as long and varied as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Back in the mid 1990’s, while more and more websites were popping up, search engines were created to capitalize on the increasing number of websites by allowing users to find relevant websites quickly. In order to further monetize these search engines, they began to employ Pay Per Click (PPC) services from GoTo and others.

Eventually the search engines began to launch their own internal ad display networks, starting with Google AdWords in 2000. Initially a failure, due to a flat CPM (Cost Per Mile, which refers to the amount of impressions), AdWords was relaunched in 2002 with a new model factoring in click-through rates, and since then has been wildly successful, generating nearly $30 billion in revenue in 2010. Google followed up AdWords with AdSense in 2003, which gave users a way to place relevant, targeted ads on their own websites using a variety of methods (RSS feeds, search boxes, text ads, etc) which has also been moderately successful.

GoTo, who changed their name to Overture,  were purchased by Yahoo in 2003 and was renamed Yahoo Search Marketing. In 2006, Microsoft launched its own search engine advertising platform called adCenter, which is still in use to this day and now also powers Yahoo advertisements thanks to their merger with Microsoft in which Bing powers Yahoo’s search results.

As you can see, while Google AdWords pretty much dominates the Internet ad space, it hasn’t been alone in its journey to today’s advanced search engine marketing and advertising systems. If all of this seems confusing, don’t worry, the search engine marketing experts here at 180Fusion can help make sense of all of this and will help you create a viable Internet marketing campaign using these same resources.

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