What should we call PPC/Paid Search/SEM?

Call it a personal hangup, but I think the world would be a better place if we all used the same term to describe what we do.

Should we call “it” Paid Search? That doesn’t work for me, since it ignores the importance of Content Network advertising – whose success depends on entirely different best practices than one should apply for Search Advertising. (See why by downloading your free copy of my book Customers Now.)

Should we call it SEM? Call me pedantic, but the meaning of the word “marketing” is a superset of “advertising.” So SEM could be used to describe a wide range of activities, as Wikipedia agrees.

I’d like to lobby for the widespread acceptance of the term “Pay-per-click Advertising” – with the alternatives “PPC Advertising” and “PPC” for short. Wikipedia seems to favor this definition as well.

Semantic purists would point out that “PPC” is still a bit inaccurate, since an advertiser on the AdWords Content Network can choose to pay on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis. But IMHO “PPC Advertising” is the term that best fits.

What do you think? I’ve set up a quick poll here – weigh in to choose one of the alternatives I’ve listed, or post a comment here if I’ve missed THE perfect choice!

Update: the winner, with 68% of the 76 votes is… Pay-per-click Advertising! Okay, I admit that I may have influnced the outcome with this blog post. I’ll act penitent by paying for the next round, gents and lady.