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On the internet, SEM stands for "Search Engine Marketing".

In it's most basic form, SEM includes any type of advertising that takes place within a search engine, hence the phrase "search engine" marketing. Search engine marketing may assume any form within a search engine but the two most common forms include SEO and PPC.

SEO refers to "Search Engine Optimization" and is the name give to the methods and process of improving a sites rank within it's organic or natural listings. SEM includes SEO but is not limited purely to SEO.

PPC stands for "pay per click" and refers to the paid advertisements as they appear within a search engine. For example, in Google, the paid ads appear under the label "sponsored links". SEM includes PPC but is not limited purely to PPC.

In biology SEM stands for "Scanning Electron Microscope".

The SEM is a particular type of microscope that produces images on a monitor by scanning the specimen with a high energy beam of electrons. The SEM is far superior to the light microscope in that a SEM can magnify a sample up to 2,000,000 times its size where as a light microscope can go as high as 2000 magnification. Thus, a SEM allows you to see small things such as smaller viruses that would otherwise never be seen by a light microscope.

This type of electron microscope only captures the surface image of the specimen It is done by plating the specimen with a type of metallic ion that then the high resolution beams can detect the image and reproduce/ capture it.

In Science SEM has long meant "standard error of the mean" a statistical term that relates the spread of numbers around the average for those numbers.

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Q: What does SEM stand for?
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