SEO, SEF, SEM, SE-what?
Posted by Kevin McLeod • 08.05.2009
The world of web is full of acronyms these days. SEO, SEF, SEM, SERP’s and of course LOL. If you ever get stuck in a room with one of those acronym addicts, I suggest you subtly open up www.acronymattic.com and punch in the acronym in question. You’ll get every possible meaning of that acronym. And if you’ve got a teenager in the house, then check out www.webacronyms.com to understand what the heck those cryptic text messages actually mean.
While there are many acronyms in the world of web, the three that get (mis)used the most often are SEO, SEF, and SEM.
SEO – search engine optimization is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.
SEF – search engine friendly is used less and less (in fact wikipedia’s definition has just recently been deleted) is a subset of SEO that involves making sure that your website has the ideal setup and structure for search engine crawlers.
SEM – search engine marketing may include SEO but, as wikipedia states, it most often relates to a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs).
Because SEO is an entire industry and body of knowledge, I won’t get into it here. But I will mention one Joomla extension that has helped improve my website’s SEF. Artio JoomSEF is a very well built component that let’s any Joomla website administrator change his ugly default Joomla URL’s to some nice clean sensible URL’s that both users and search engines can digest. The interface is intuitive and easy to use and is mostly point and click which is great for speed. For most people, the default settings are fantastic, but if you need to get into 301 redirects and custom URL’s it’s all there for you to play with. I also recommend taking a look at the popular sh404SEF.