Basic Explanation of a Search Engine Results Page

The building block of search engine marketing is the search engine results page or serp as I will call it from here on out. To the left is a screen shot of a Google serp for the keyword “search engine marketing”. Looking at the image you can see three distinct sections. The sections on the top and left, outlined in blue, are sponsored listings. The larger section in green is the natural or organic listings.

The natural listings are composed of web pages that Google’s search engine determined you would find relevant to the keyword you searched on. The position of each listing is determined by Google’s search algorithm. This is a tightly held secret by any search engine.

The sponsored listings are what this BLOG will focus on. The position of your ad within these results is different for each search engine. However, Google bases your positioning on your bid as well as your CTR (click-through-rate). If you can increase your CTR, you can lower the price of your bids and remain in the same position. Google’s approach helps to serve up more relevant ads, because the CTR of relevant ads is most likely going to be higher than those with less relevant. MSN’s Adcenter has followed suit and Yahoo’s new sponsored listings platform should sport a similar approach when it released this summer.


June 14, 2006 at 9:00 pm 1 comment


This BLOG arose when I started helping my mom, a real estate agent, try and expand her visibility on the web. I realized that there must be a large number of small companies, real estate agents, moms, and other individuals that are looking to take advantage of all the marketing opportunities that the web has to offer. However, they don't have the budgets to hire someone or the time to read up on all the latest trends. I therefore set forth to help these people get on the web, but do so in an intelligent way. It can be a very scary first step. My hopes are that you will let me help you take it.

Search Engine Marketing is a very powerful tool for any company or individual hoping to increase their visibility on the web. It starts with an enticing ad, but it doesn't end there. A successful search engine marketing ad weaves in information about the product or service, a call to action, keywords that you feel the visitor may search on and does this all in 70 characters or less. It's somewhat like a verbal puzzle, where the solution can result in increased sales and lower CPCs (cost per click).

I look forward to receiving my first post.

Paul Langtry

June 13, 2006 at 10:39 pm Leave a comment


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