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SEARCH MARKETING: Understanding the basics

With so much ink spilt over search marketing one might assume that anyone who takes an interest would have acquired a complete and infallible knowledge. But the media has been selective in which parts of search it's covered. While the nationals have favoured stories surrounding the big search engines - well, one in particular - the trade press has done a sterling job analysing and forecasting new methods from pay-per-call to white-label techniques.

The latter is fantastic for keeping practitioners abreast of developments, but it assumes a level of knowledge. It expects a universally sound understanding of how search works when this is not always the reality.

In an effort to fill in the gaps this feature aims to address some simple - not necessarily easy - questions. What is search? How does natural search work? How does sponsored search work? And, finally, why bother?