Paid Search to Overtake Organic? (4:52)

Posted on by Abby Johnson |

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The organic and paid search dynamic has changed dramatically in recent years. With these changes, many people within the search industry have continued to maintain their strong position in choosing one over the other.

As Andrew Goodman of Page Zero Media tells WebProNews, those on the organic side argue that 80 percent of clicks come from organic. Those on the paid side, contend that more business revenue comes from paid as opposed to organic. For example, Microsoft conducted a study in which it found that 60 percent of revenue across thousands of sites was driven by paid and 40 percent of the revenue was driven by organic. However, Goodman says all these reports are misleading.

He does point out that specific verticals indicate a trend in favor of paid over organic. For instance, if you do a search for “San Diego tours,” the top 3 results are paid, there are paid listings on the right side, and there are also local results that could have a paid element. In addition, these practically take up all the room above the fold.

As a result, Goodman says, “To not do paid just basically means your competitors are there and you’re not.”

He went on to say how he believes that organic will begin to lose its meaning over time. Taking it even further, he says it’s getting difficult to clearly define the “10 blue links” as either paid or organic, since results include news, YouTube, and more.

Because the search environment is being flooded with personalization, localization, and other new factors, Goodman says people need to realize that the “fixed 10 blue links” do not exist anymore. That said, he thinks paid search is more reliable moving forward.

As the search dynamic continues to evolve, what do you see happening to paid and organic search?

Posted in: Andrew Goodman, Local Search, Online Marketing Summit 2010, Paid Search, SEO
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