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Purpose

Search Engine Marketing (or SEM) is a synonym for Paid Search, which is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines.

Guidelines

When dealing with SEM, the following points have to be kept in mind:

  • by paying for ads you can increase the traffic to a website. Nevertheless, if the content and technical quality of that website are poor, the users will leave the page fast, negating the purpose of your investment
  • the positive effect of paid ads ends when you stop paying. As such, you should not rely on ads in the long term, but just use ads to boost specific pages whose relevance could become limited with time (e. g. campaigns, events, initiatives, consultations and so on)
  • ads have no impact on organic search
  • the main companies offering Paid Search are not European and while GDPR applies world-wide, some legal considerations on data protection and data exploitation would need to be taken into account
  • the budget allocated to SEM is a responsibility of individual DGs. As such, it would be ideal to avoid running different campaigns on the same subjects in the same period
  • specific rules for Social Media Marketing can be consulted in the Social Media Wiki

Contact and support

If you require further assistance, please contact:

Comm Europa Management

European Commission
DG Communication 
Unit B.3 
Europa Web Communication 

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The Europa Web Guide is the official rulebook for the European Commission's web presence, covering editorial, legal, technical, visual and contractual aspects.
All European Commission web sites must observe the rules and guidelines it contains.
Web practitioners are invited to observe its contents and keep abreast of updates. Read more.