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Organic Search vs Paid Search

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There are two types of web search: Organic Search and Paid Search. Organic search relates to unpaid, ethical rankings on the SERP's (search engine results page). The rankings are determined by algorithms and can be optimized through a competent SEO strategy. On the other hand, paid search allows businesses to pay to be top of search results for a matter of time or clicks. Paid searches are labelled 'Ads' and appear above the organic search results. Organic search and paid search represent two valuable marketing tools that can be utilised by businesses.

Organic Search

When you type a query into Google, you'll find a list of organic results underneath the paid ads. Organic results are ranked purely on relevance, content and quality. Essentially, websites at the top of organic search results are the ones most valued by Google. Web traffic that comes in from people clicking on an organic result is known as organic traffic. Organic traffic is the most valuable and most sought-after traffic for any business. After all, the top organic result on Google receives 33% of all traffic, with results on the first-page receiving 92% of all traffic.

The Advantages of Organic Search:

  • It's free of charge
  • Customers trust organic rankings
  • Brings in high-quality traffic
  • It's sustainable and long-term
  • Gives you a competitive edge
  • Gives your business more credibility


Increasing organic traffic takes time, patience and effort. There is no quick fix or easy way to rise up Google's organic rankings. However, with high-quality content, a professional website and an apt social media strategy, you can generate high-volume traffic from organic search. With Google so ingrained into our buying behaviour, a competent SEO strategy is more important than ever.

Paid Search

Paid search links appear at the top of the search results page, above those websites that rank organically. Though paid search links have the word 'ad' next to them, consumers regularly overlook this, often mistaking paid search links for organic search results. In the last decade, paid search advertising has become increasingly popular. Organic search is more competitive than ever, with companies investing significant time and effort into their organic SEO campaigns. Furthermore, Google's increasingly clever algorithm means its impossible to cheat your way up the organic search rankings.

The Advantages of Paid Search:

  • Delivers immediate results
  • Generates qualified leads
  • You can analyse the success of your campaign
  • It's great for targeting a local area
  • Improves brand awareness


Though paid-per-click advertising requires an investment, it can offer an attractive financial remuneration over time. When strategised effectively, a paid-per-click advertisement campaign can increase the quality and quantity of traffic immediately.

Conclusion

Traditionally, marketing firms have steered away from paid-per click advertising, instead opting for organic search and ethical SEO. However, nowadays, it's becoming increasingly more common to see paid search and organic search working together. Though organic search undoubtedly delivers better results, it takes significant time to reach page one of Google. Paid-per-click advertising can help bridge the gap, delivering results immediately. Despite this, paid-per-click advertising isn't a sustainable approach. Though success is instantaneous, it's short-lived and cannot be maintained. The key to effective online marketing is to balance both organic and paid search, optimizing the impact of pay-per-click advertising whilst building long-term success with organic search.