As I am writing this my book, SEO Help: 20 steps to get your website to Google’s #1 page is riding high on the best seller charts at the number 17 slot which is great (plus the highest it’s risen since it first came out in January this year).

There is a fundamental difference between SEO and SEM. The former consists of crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s in an attempt to optimise a site to the point that it is search engine friendly (while being careful not to over-optimise it as that will then count against it) while the latter involves online marketing techniques which take into account viral social networks (like YouTube and FaceBook) the users of which are then utilised as inevitable assistant marketers.

I was reading a report in boingboing that was slightly nostalgic in outlook to those early Web 1.0 days when the web was more about personal sites than commercial ones and it made me think.

I have been active on the web since its very early days when a distinction still existed between the internet and the world wide web and when actually entering a site was an event in its own right. It is easy to forget how far we have come and how fast so it’s good to note that those old hackneyed and ever-so-innocent sites made with a lot of passion and a certain amount of dreams were also incredibly search engine friendly.

You are wondering right now how the latest privacy wars amongst the big search engines are going to allow you to take advantage and make the most of your SEO efforts.

Make no mistake, anything which involves policy changes or competitive actions amongst the big search engines (and we are talking really Google, Yahoo!  and MSN in that order) is going to affect online search behaviour and SEO work.