Search Engine Marketing these days is everywhere. Companies who have fallen behind in marketing their companies on the web have been left in the dust. People no longer open a "Yellow colored book" to find a phone number to call about information on products or services. They now just open a browser and "Google" to their preferred businesses. By placing your business as highly as possible on the "organic" Search Engine Results, you help guarantee traffic looking for what you carry or market makes their way to you.
Many traditional marketers have been extremely slow to move with the shifts in the landscape, and many see Search Engine Optimization as a kind of Voodoo or "trickery", seeing it all as the work of Blackhat hackers attempting to take the system for a ride. Instead, SEO should really be intelligent presentation of the information, where the Search Engine can easily digest information, take it in and index information correctly and therefore achieve a good placement on Engines such as Google and Yahoo.
The other alternative method of internet marketing which was the first aspect of many marketing agencies to embraces was Pay per Click. By this method, a company could take any keyword which would be searched and bid versus other companies, increasing their bid to achieve higher placement under "Sponsored Link" areas at the top and sides of search engine results. This was an easy way for many marketing companies to go. They could just hire out a staff to take over the bidding for a company or business by charging them a premium, in many cases the premiums can be almost astronomical for what is actually being bid. However, as the market has saturated and more people have moved trying to market their products or services on the web, bidding starting prices have skyrocketed. In many competitive markets, first page placement has gone into the tens of dollars PER CLICK!