I've been happy with Google's deal with AOL to supply results to the portal, SEO has made a step forward, giving us more traffic without having to pay for spidering, pay per clicks, or a submission fee. Then we are hit with their AdWords Select program. But alas even that bastion of free search and SEO strength has gone by the boards! Is this a good thing? Or, will pay=per-click be our death toll?
What are your thoughts on this latest trend and how do you position your SEO services in the midst of pay-per-click services. I say catch the wave and make it part of your overall program and hope for the best. But, it is tougher to get justify one's fee when they pay them too!
We sure haven't lost all hope! I think the figure runs close to 80% Google usage for searching (someone correct me if that's not accurate), so PPC still hasn't overshadowed quality search results altogether, even if a lot of people don't know the difference between regular and paid.
Some customers will want regular rankings so they don't have to keep paying per click. I don't think it's been firmly established whether an equally good regular listing or an Adwords listing will get more click-throughs, but the regular still has an appeal for customers, even though they may have to do both. That's where stressing "benefits" comes into play with selling services.
The general consensus, though, is that the wisest route to take is to diversify efforts.