randle - 4:27 pm on Jan 4, 2013 (gmt 0)
Passions aside, (because lets face it, deep down its a game we all like to play) from a business model perspective, over dependence on organic traffic is high risk.
Certainly there have been great success stories, but companies that have demonstrated real profitability, over a long period of time (7 plus years, including this year) by monetizing pure organic search, are getting to be fewer and fewer. (if they get to your site by typing into Google your domain, your product, or your brand, thats not traffic derived from organic search).
We have certainly seen companies make out very well indeed from organic traffic but so many seem to fade away at some point over the years, and that trend has accelerated with our recent experiences with Panda, Penguin and the EMD update.
I might even propose that going forward, success rates will be inversely proportional to the percent of organic traffic that produces your revenue. So, if your company gets 70% of its revenue from organically derived traffic, you would have a 70% chance of failing within the next 5 years.
The problem with chasing organic traffic is the investment you put in can be wiped out rather quickly. There are only so many hours in the day, only so much resources each company has at its disposal. If you have an employee that costs $1,500/week whats the better use of that persons time?
If their working on organic traffic the allure their is the return on that expenditure can be quite high, but the question is for how long? If they work on generating other forms of traffic such as PPC, affiliate marketing, banner traffic, ect. the return will be less, but the risk of a catastrophic plunge in revenue is radically reduced.
What we see is the risk/return formula for relying on Google organic traffic has gotten dramatically scarier over the past 16 months.
Heres a question: If an angel investor gave you $500,000 to market a product on line from scratch, what percent of that would you devote to driving traffic organically, and what percent would you devote to driving traffic through other means?
For most of us, thats the fundamental question when we get up in the morning these days; how many of my chips should I put down today on "Google Organic Traffic".