SEO vs SEM: The Differences and How to Choose
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SEO vs SEM: The Differences and How to Choose

In this era, SEO may be a familiar word for people, especially for marketers and entrepreneurs. 

However, sometimes, people myth that SEO and SEM are the same things, which is not. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are two different things.

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Before we dive in, let’s have some understanding about SEO and SEM.

What is SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of getting targeted traffic to a website from search engine organic rankings. 

SEO included tasks such as creating high-quality content, optimising content around specific keywords, and building backlinks. 

In simple words, SEO refers to improving site rankings in the organic section of the search result. In common, SEO also refers to unpaid search results.

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What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) included both organic area and paid area.

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SEM tap in both SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) to get more traffic from the search engine. SEM is a broad term that includes SEO and PPC. SEO falls under the umbrella category of SEM.

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What are the differences and common between SEO and SEM

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The difference between SEO and SEM is SEO focus 100% on the organic result only while SEM focus on both organic development and paid impact.

That’s why SEO is a practice of continuously optimising the website to rank in the organic, non-paid search engine results page (SERPs).

Besides SEO, SEM also included PPC, which is the paid search. This make SEM different from SEO.


However, both SEO and SEM have the same objectives. Both SEO and SEM aimed to be listed on the first page of the search engine and attract more traffic to their websites.

How long it takes to see the result?

In terms of duration, SEO will take a longer time to see the results than SEM, especially when compared to PPC. 

SEO may take few months to years to see the results. However, by targeting long-tail keywords and implementing SEO best practices, the result can be seen within a few months.

In contrast, the investment in SEM, especially in PPC, can pretty much lead to an immediate result. Usually, the result can be seen within a day.

The Costs


There is a myth that SEO is free. Yes, there is no payment for someone to click through your site in the organic search result. However, it is not easy to let the audience spot your site on the first page of the search results. It took a lot of money, time and effort to get in the top ranking. 

The keyword research and content creation itself consists of a lot of money, time and effort with no guaranteed payback. 

Therefore, seeking professional help and advice may increase the ranking in SERPs in a cost-efficient and time-efficient way.

BigDomain can help you get “FOUND” in the top search engine such as Google/ Bing! We are the Top in SEO Malaysia and Digital Marketing Malaysia. 


In the case of the SEM approach, which only includes 100% PPC, the money is spent up-front with a guaranteed result. Thus, in the short term, PPC is usually less expensive than SEO.

However, PPC has a fatal flaw:


But with SEO, once the site rank, it’s pretty much set. The investment is all up-front; once the site rank, the investment in maintaining the current rankings is comparatively low.


How to choose?

When to choose SEO?

There are four types of scenarios when you should go for SEO

01. When you only have a limited budget

When you only have limited budget, it is better to spend on SEO rather than burn out all the marketing budget just in few weeks.

02. When your content is impressive enough to attract traffic to the site.

If you are confident that you can write AMAZING content on customers’ search for in Google, SEO is probably your best bet.

03. When you have sufficient time to wait for the rank to grow.

Remember that SEO took a longer time to show the results. If you required an immediate effect, SEO might not be the best choice.

04. When your site has good backlinks

Good link building in the content will also increase the rank of your content.

When to choose PPC?

There are three types of scenarios when you should go for PPC

01. When you have a consistent Ad budget.

Remember that when you stop paying PPC, your traffic goes zero. A consistent Ad budget ensures the durability of your paid search traffic.

02. When you have the ability to manage an Adwords account

In practice, managing a Google Ads account is no joke. You need to manage a huge amount of data to ensure your Ads work.

03. When you have the ability to launch and test landing pages

In order to get the most out of PPC, you need a way to quickly launch many different web pages. And run an A/B test to find out which performs best.

When to choose SEM?

Remember that SEM includes SEO and PPC. You should do both when you have sufficient human resources to manage both PPC and SEO.

Final Takeaway

  1. SEO and SEM are different concepts. 
  2. SEO is under the umbrella of SEM. 
  3. SEO focus on organic search.
  4. PPC focus on paid search.
  5. SEM focus on both SEO and PPC.
Email Security VS Work From Home
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Email Security VS Work From Home

On 3rd July 2021, BigDomain had its Live event talking about Remote Working Transformation: How to Avoid Email Spam. It is about how working from home has changed the corporate culture and the importance of email security when every working adult depends on email daily.

Here are some of the recaps from the event. For the full version, you can visit here to get the visual and aural experiences. 


With working from home in place across the nation, spam mail and phishing emails appear daily in your mailbox, as Payment Confirmation, unexpected fake prizes and lottery scam. These are the common scam that people are facing nowadays.

Imagine you have 100 emails coming in per day (big businesses might have astronomical figures, but we tone it down here). There might be 60% promotional advertising mail, and 10-30% are from scammers and spammers. 

Employers and employees have hundreds or even thousands of emails every day to check. When the time is limited and precious, people will not pay too much attention to the legibility of email. They would be eager to open the email to check whether their colleagues or clients respond to their queries.

When you receive the least protection, scammers will use email communications to obtain your personal information.

Therefore, email security is actually very important for you while you are working from home.

Email Security knowledge: How To Spot A Phishing Email

When many people think that small businesses and companies are prone to email phishing and scams due to the lack of security, you have no idea how famous brands are once the victims too.

In 2017, BBC reported that Google and Facebook had lost 100 million because of being hacked. You can understand how a small hacker can cost tremendous financial loss for businesses. No matter how prepared you claim to be, when there is a will, there is a way to hack into the security, no matter how sophisticated and complicated your technology has.

They may attempt to steal passwords, account numbers, or your personal data. They might get access to your email, bank account, or other accounts if they obtain such information. Every day, scammers conduct hundreds of phishing assaults like this, and they are usually successful. 

Phishing emails may appear to be from a firm you are familiar with or trust. They may appear to be from a bank, credit card business, social networking site, online payment website or app, or online retailer.

Phishing emails usually fabricate a story to mislead you to click on links or open files. They might claim that

  • your payment cannot go through and ask for another price again
  • there is a giveaway that requires your personal information to proceed
  • your account has been disabled, and you need to change your current username and password

These are some of the signs of rubbish email and phishing email. Here is a real-life phishing email example.

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Above is an email sample we got from a Japanese client. Do you spot any sign that might indicate it as a scam? Let’s have a closer look. 

This email is trying to imitate a trusted company you may know: Amazon. 

While this email appears to be genuine at first sight, it is not. Scammers that send emails like this have no affiliation with the companies they claim to represent. They can also damage the reputation of the company they are impersonating.

Terms you need to know about email security

According to, there are few terms you may need to know for email security.

  • Email phishing – financial and business-related scam
  • Spear phishing and whaling – usually target management team, CEO executive, what we consider as high-level phishing.
  • Smishing – SMS scam 
  • Vishing – Phone scam
  • Business email compromise – CEO fraud leads to account hacking.
  • Clone phishing – one legit email sent, then a fake one s ent almost the same email about the same event, so you would not get suspicious and click inside it.
  • Evil twin phishing – Wifi hack
  • Social media, search engines, pharming

Most of the successful scammers attack the weakest chain! Imagine the whole office is operated with top-notch CCTV security with double-layered high-tech. But, there’s an issue. The office has no door – no gated security, which is the most fundamental one. Hence, the importance of a basic firewall and safety has to be focused on and emphasized.

How a Hosting Company provides email security

BigDomain has some great recommendations for businesses that can help to back up your hosting security. 

  1. cPanel anti spam (spamAssassin) 

  • Score base system 

Below 5 is fine. Score more than 5 will go to spam.

  • RBL (Real-time Blackhole Listing) 

Compare IP address for every email


The recipient would not get any email from an unofficial IP address. Impersonator email will get into the spam mail.

  1. Premium AntiSpam Corporate Level

  • Daily process (2.5 million active domains)
  • Near 100% accuracy
  • Predictive, self-learning
  • Real-time intelligent share with millions of customer
  • Not only protect incoming email but send your email via hundreds of Spam Protected IP
  • Protect IP before without getting blocklist 
  • As cheap as RM40/month (We even give trials for non-bigdomain subscribers. Whatsapp us for more info)

Bonus Tips: 

  1. Spot the email address to check for misspellings of the company name. If the name is not the name of the official company, report it as a phishing email.
  2. Do not click any link in the email address. Instead, copy and paste the link into your browser, and you can go to the official website and perform the activity directly there.


With basic email security, your employees’ productivity increases, and more time to be saved. If not, there would be an unexpected enormous financial loss that your business has to bear. If there is no primary security filter like our recommended software, there would be hundreds and thousands of emails coming into your inbox that confuses you and congest your inbox.

For further assistance, contact us now