The differences between organic and paid search results

Posted by Bella B   06/03/2016
Every business strives to land on the first page of search results on major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. SEO webmasters and digital marketers will focus on a variety of practices that will enhance a website's relevancy, ultimately improving rankings within these search engines. However, there are very two very clear differences and approaches in achieving this; see below the differences between organic and paid search results.

Paid search (PPC)

Paid search is a form of search engine marketing that many businesses and organization consider to improve their search rankings. Business can pay for general search advertisements or can pay per click, which is also known as PPC advertising. These paid advertisements include sponsored links, contextualized ads, and banner links.

Organic search

Organic search is the "natural" listings that appear on search results that include the following practices:

Link-building: developing backlinks to larger, highly relevant sites
Keyword research: finding highly search keywords that drive traffic to websites
Content marketing: developing articles, blog posts, videos and other content that utilizes keywords that will attract traffic
Back-end programming: optimizing a site's back-end language, i.e. HTML, PHP, JavaScript, etc. to enhance a site's relevancy in search engines

The difference between search results is very noticeable. Paid search results are often very visible when consumers type in certain keywords. However, when businesses focus more on developing consistent, keyword-rich content; search engine crawlers over time will rank a site based on content relevancy and will eventually rank the site higher and higher based on the richness of content. The difference between search results also will vary greatly on social media sharing as search algorithms are taking these social media platforms more and more into consideration in ranking websites.

  • organic
  • search
  • paid search
  • natural listings
  • PPC
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