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Is 1st place organic worthless without Adwords campaign?

 10:41 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have some #1 results in organic results (well established site, more than 8 years old) but this year particularily I see it all covered and sourounded by adwords ads and google places result. So the first organic position (even when site is yellow starred) is performing nasty. I mean I almost don't get useful traffic and have to pay adwords campaign anyway to get some movement.

Years ago (or at least some months ago) same keywords site and page performed very good. Is this the actual scenario? Must I get used to this?



 7:46 pm on Jun 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you build a street store, you need to learn or outsource all kinds of things to succeed - electricity, plumbing, carpentry, real estate knowledge, population patterns in the area, signage, display etc, etc.

If you build a technically weak website, then you've got those limitations working against you. I got into SEO (from offline retail) because I saw that there was a discipline here - something to be learned as part of doing business on the web. It's always been that straightforward, to my view.


 9:49 pm on Jun 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

"But is this the beginning of the end for Google? Does anyone remember the failure modes for Alta Vista and the like"


They never had 90% of the market. They never had their name adopted as the slang word for search with a coolness factor associated with it.

In that era, ALL search engines were losing money.

...my, how that (search engine) industry has come full circle in the last decade, huh?


 11:06 pm on Jun 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm a bit surprised about how well you take it Tedster. To many kind of business before internet they could work wihtout advertising or even be in internet and search engines. Today they simply can't. Over 90% of costumers in certain business area (will not mention it to avoid admin edition) comes from the web. Paying the way you are forced now for Ads, for each click now is a problem for many kind of small business, not only for virtual business.
I'm not saying we could expect to get something giving nothing back. Just saying the monopoly of clicks is fierce. Sadly in some countries There's no life beyond Google, all the rest just doesn't matter, no one can point to 5% of traffic.
So you have a business capable of paying high sums of money in clicks or you are history. That's not something I can personally take as naturally as you do.


 11:46 pm on Jun 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

There are so many non-search ways to acquire targeted traffic and to retain those customers. It can take some out-of-the box thinking at times, but it is a sane part of any online strategy.

Check out this classic post Brett wrote in 2002: Mostly Viral Top Traffic Alternatives to Search Engines [webmasterworld.com]. That should jump start creative thinking.

And then remember a big lesson from offline business: Acquiring a new customer takes 5 to 10 times more resources than RETAINING an existing customer. Search marketing seemed to change that balance for a number of years, and new customer acquisition via search traffic seemed even easier than customer retention.

But now the pendulum is swinging back. So if organic search and PPC seem to be getting further and further out of reach, then think about customer retention more, and think about the social and viral conversation - the new name for "word of mouth".


 11:49 pm on Jun 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

To many kind of business before internet they could work wihtout advertising...

Maybe the liquor store on the corner didn't advertise back in the days before the Internet, but most other businesses still invested in advertising. Before the Internet I ran the retail operation of a local business and increased sales fourfold by advertising on the back pages of local community newspapers across multiple cities and towns, including placing classifieds in the two main newspapers in San Francisco.

Yellow Pages was the biggie. If you weren't in the Yellow pages then you didn't exist. Back then a typical large city had more than one newspaper and advertising in the papers was imortant, too. But there were other smaller places that local businesses advertised in, too, like the back pages of church missals, sponsor logos on bingo cards, that kind of thing. That's how plumbers, vacuum repair shops, restaurants and video stores got the word out- sometimes motivating consumers with coupons.


 4:56 am on Jun 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

In Old layout Paid ads were shown right of the search results, in the present layout they show 3 ads on the top of the organic search results including right side.

In future if they start showing more paid ads on the top of the organic search results or in the middle of the search results we should blindly accept them. As Google is the leader in search engine world.

As he don't have the strong competitors here, no check point for him may be.

All the webmasters are waiting for the new strong competitors for Google in this search engine world


 5:30 am on Jun 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Only some query terms get three ads promoted "north" - even now with the new layout. Some get two, some get one etc. The difference depends to a significant degree on the click through of those ads when they were on the right - in other words, on the user response.


 5:58 am on Jun 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Right, and it's been this way for many years. ;)


 7:54 am on Jun 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

tedster: Only some query terms get three ads promoted "north" -

On some of our most desirable keywords there are three adwords above the SERPS and then there is that google [shopping results] from (is it froogle) also above the SERPS. Plus the usual ads on the right. #1 position in the natural listings is a long way down the page now.

When google was growing, they did so on word of mouth and because they delivered clean simple and good quality results which people liked. A lot of people I know who are not internet marketing saavy do not realise that some of these results are paid, others don't care as long as they find what they are looking for. Overall, is the experience still "clean simple and good quality results which people like"? that seems an interesting question for me.


 8:59 am on Jun 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

others don't care as long as they find what they are looking for. Overall, is the experience still "clean simple and good quality results which people like"?

I agree with you 100%. As you said, they don't care as long as they find what they are looking for. That's how the AdWords system was designed to respond to queries. Good point you made. :)

Presenting ads that lead to sites that users like is the point of the algo behind the AdWords program. This is what differentiated their product from Overture, which more or less let the market self-select who was on top by how much was bid- regardless of how many clicks were received, site visitor satisfaction, etc.

The AdWords algo will promote an advertiser to the top if their ad receives enough clicks and will keep it there if the advertiser's site meets various metrics that indicate the visitor is satisfied with the site they reached.

If an ad doesn't receive enough clicks then it won't be promoted to the top. Period.

If an ad receives enough clicks and users seem to like the page they land on then the algo understands that the landing page is relevant to the query and will keep the ad up north.

That is how it's supposed to work. As an advertiser that is how it works for me. But I know there are quirks in the algo that will keep an ad from the North position, even though it is there for other highly similar phrases. So imo it's not a perfect algo.


 1:05 pm on Jun 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi martinibuster. Your post just throws up more things that I did not know about adwords. It has always seemed to me that if I up my maximum cost per click I go up a position or two and that I thought was all there was to it. The trouble has been that my competitors have also done the same and now we are all paying more for the same thing we used to pay less for!

One of my issues at the moment is the high number of bounces on adwords visitors, I have to focus the campaign a lot more I think, anyhow that can probably not hurt. And I am thinking of switching off appearance in adsense sites altogether as I don't expect we are getting quality clickthroughs that way.

But the thrust of your post, if adwords results are as useful to searchers as natural listings are, then natural listings may be doomed. I am sure Google used to promote its natural listings as being the jewel in their crown, it seems the dollar signs have consigned that to the bin of history.


 8:04 pm on Jun 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

All the webmasters are waiting for the new strong competitors for Google in this search engine world

That's what I'm talking about.

And now the conversion tracking nightmare begins for those forced to pay PPC and redesign the whole life to adapt your work to the new reality. No joy without a generous advertising budget.


 1:12 am on Jun 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you don't like paying Google, then buy their stock and make some money. I own 50 shares myself.
As far as people not knowing the difference of organic results and paid results - THEY DON'T!
I did my own informal survey and 95% of people had no clue there was a difference. I even had a heated debate with a 20 something PC repair guy who said you HAVE to pay Google to get listed anywhere on the page. Regardless, I spend about $500/month on my Adwords campaign, even though I rank in the top 3 for dozens if not hundreds of niche keywords. The good part is that Google is basically paying my ad costs through my use of properly placed Adsense ads. I stick to only 1 ad per site page - 3 on my blog.


 5:05 am on Jun 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

@backdraft, and informal survey is not that useful. What this needs is a behavioural study, to see what people actually click on. Everyone here knows ad blindness is a problem, so it probably applies to Google as well.

This 74 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 74 ( 1 2 [3]
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