Since the Internet rose to prominence in the 1990s, it's grown rapidly as a communications platform and has created several industries, while assisting more in their expansion. The Web also has proven to be an incredibly effective marketing and advertising platform, which has allowed many companies to reach their target demographics and increase their overall visibility.

Online advertising and paid efforts such as banner ads and pay-per-click have been effective for many businesses, but search engine optimization and social media optimization are considered by most to be the future of online marketing and the next logical step for many businesses which are already invested in Internet-centric campaigns.

SEO and SMO have delivered results by enhancing visibility on search engines and social networks such as Google, Facebook, Bing and other sites which are amongst the most frequently visited on the Web. These sites reach virtually every imaginable demographic and can provide not only traffic, but increased revenues for online businesses.

By optimizing keywords, content, backlinks and enhancing social media interaction, many sites have already seen substantial improvements in their search engine rankings, traffic and even profits. In fact, industry experts predict that search marketing and advertising will become even more successful in 2012 and more companies will invest in online marketing campaigns. For any business, the online marketplace should be considered a valuable one and should certainly not be overlooked when developing new advertising and marketing initiatives.