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Which is more "valuable" - #1 Organic or #1 in PPC?

     
10:10 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If I was in the business of selling products, say if I was Amazon dot com, as an example.

Would you want to be in #1 in Google PPC position or #1 Organic position? (lets assume the PPC is free for this arguement)

Another words, does the typical search engine user "overlook" the ads (aware they're just ads) and go directly to the organic results for their search answers?

11:22 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I don't know if I'm typical, but I hardly ever click the ads. The only time I do is when I'm searching for a manufacturer or product and there's an ad link to eBay, then when I arrive on eBay I wonder why anyone would maintain a PPC campaign for that term as there is often nothing there to buy.
11:24 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



#1 in PPC lasts only as long as you keep on paying.

#1 in organic can last a long time after a site is tweaked.

#1 in organic will (usually) mean good listings on other sites with organic listings without extra payment.

11:35 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Studies I've see show that a organic #1 will generate anywhere from 4 to 7 times more clicks than a PPC #1. There's also an interesting synergy when both are present, at least in some markets, that works out like this. If organic alone attracts X clicks per day, and PPC alone attracts Y clicks per day, then having both in place can attract significantly more than just X+Y. In some cases, it can be as much as 20% more.
11:41 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is the answer I was looking for. Do you have a reference to this study?

>organic #1 will generate anywhere from 4 to 7 times more clicks than a PPC #1

11:43 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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assuming a fairly popular niche, for how many popular keyword phrases would you need to be on at least page 1 to generate 1000 unique visitors per day,

okay , it would vary widely, but general figures would be nice

11:50 pm on Dec 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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#1 in PPC lasts only as long as you keep on paying.
True, but you can often get to #1 in PPC within a couple of days, while getting to #1-#4 in organic can take weeks, months, years or never, time that could be used to generate business from an effective PPC campaign.

#1 in organic can last a long time after a site is tweaked.
Or, as we have seen many times, #1 organic can go away overnight and never come back.

#1 in organic will (usually) mean good listings on other sites with organic listings without extra payment.
Perhaps, but web page tuning for multiple search engines can also be a compromise, with good positions in one, and not so good in others.
12:06 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Of course #1 organic result, then you don't have to spend a lot of money for advertisement :)
12:15 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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#1 in organic, I will take it anytime. However, it takes time and most of the time it's impossible to get there under the desirable terms. In other hand, you can get #1 PPC in no time except impossible in some cases.

As an Adwords user, I avoid to click on PPC even I want to. I copy the site URL site and then click on the organic listing.

12:26 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a client that had the #1 PPC postion for a brand name/product name. The client was on page three for the natural listing

With a very small amount of effort, the natural listing went to postion #1 and #2.

Sales went up 200%, while dropping the Adwords listing.
The Adwords ad was "unpaused" and sales went up a few percent, which was just enough to cover costs plus a few percent profit on each sale.

In this situation most people would just drop the Adwords Ad, but the client believes in leaving a "big foot print" on page one. I tend to agree with them on this strategy.

12:31 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Do you have a reference to this study?

It isn't just one study, it's what I've gathered over the past 3 years. Some input is from clients I work with who run PPC, some input is from conference presentations I've attended, some input is from paid, proprietary studies, some is from trade magazines, and so on.

You can find some information like this through a Google search, but it usually comes out in this same general "ballpark", and it's never been different by any sigificant degree.

I've even read some reports that say organic generates 90% when both are in place, but I think that must either be an unusual market niche or perhaps a misstatement. Still, who knows when there are so many variables involved -- the creative used in the PPC ad, the title and snippet in the organic listing, the market demographics, whether a OneBox is on the SERP, etc.

So the exact ratio will vary for each particular situation, but it will almost always be heavily weighted toward organic clicks.

8:26 am on Dec 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Would you want to be in #1 in Google PPC position or #1 Organic position?"

Why choose if you can have both?

Being #1 for a high converting keyword will generate money day after day, but so will a Google Ad with a good track record.

6:28 am on Dec 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



This is just my 2 cents worth, and it's a record of preceeding bricks and mortar activity which follows the same principle.

Firstly, without doubt, organic is stronger.

When you cross populate marketing channels the focus for measuring success get's progressively more difficult.

So you can start with organic and you are able to measure X
Then you head to PPC and you see an increase, such as Tedster suggests, of Y
Then you add PR, repeat business, referal traffic, other advertising channels and before long you have no accountability on the detailed effectiveness of your spend because one acts on the other and it is complicated to decipher what the effect will be of removing or adding a channel.

Ultimately, if you do not convert this business to nice solid repeat and referral traffic, the whole business will become very costly, with PPC probably close to amongst the top of the list. Organic traffic is an inter dependant which ultimately will have a limited lifecycle according to Google's commercial objectives, fierce competition and your ability to adapt.

I guess most big and solid small business' get to a point where marketing becomes simply part of an overall budget, rather than a meticulous monitoring of component activity. They would likely consider organic marketing as a brand support technique, rather than the other way round.

[edited by: Whitey at 6:29 am (utc) on Dec. 31, 2006]

10:12 am on Dec 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I going play the devil's advocate and say PPC is better, if you have a high CTR, combined with a high converting website.

Remember PPC and SEO are different beasts.

PPC allows you flexibility with your landing page. Organic listings tend to be home pages and not the best page you want if you are trying to sell something.

PPC is a lot more stable and less stressful. You can test till your heart's content and make conclusions based on those results. With SEO, you have little idea what works and what gets higher rankings.

SEO requires more work (link and content building). PPC requires none of it, it is strictly made for selling a product/service, not blogging, or essays or link buying.

11:22 am on Dec 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Just to expand this if I may - does anyone know what the difference will amount to in traffic between organic #1 and organic #4?
6:10 pm on Dec 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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One of my client's sites is #1 in Google and Overture via PPC also #4 in Google organic SERPs, #1 in Yahoo organic SERPS. The natural Yahoo listing only gets about 10% to 15% more clicks then the Overture listing whereas in Google the #4 organic Google listing is getting about 600% to 650% more traffic then the #1 Google PPC result. I cannot guarantee our Google PPC listing is always #1, but it is every time I or my client has ever checked it. Bottom Line: organic listings are MUCH more valuable.
12:32 am on Jan 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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#1 in organic for sure. Nothing beats free traffic.

That being said, if the "bottom line" is profitable AND if your ROI is worth your time, then #1 in PPC is great.

The bottom line is always the bottom line. Your account balance VS your expenditure is always the "moral of the story".

5:14 am on Jan 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We get more paying customers with organic.
5:53 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's very interesting to me that everybody says Organic#1 is better eventough PPC#1 is positioned on the TOP of the search result page, 2-3 positions higher than the Orgnaic #1 and highlighted.
6:07 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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maha, the bulk of people skip right over the ads. Furthermore a large percentage of those who do click the ads, also click the organic listings. Your conversion rate from PPC will nearly always be lower do to click fraud and other low quality clicks so when organic listings get 5 to 7 times more traffic at a higher conversion rate the value becomes very clear.
9:16 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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On one of the larger site that I manage* the Organic traffic converts 50% better than PPC... not to mention, much higher traffic (~12 times more**)

*<Note: "entertainment related">
**<Comparing #1-2 Organic to #2-3 in PPC>

But if one is really "in serious business" - would have both. For some of most competative keywords we have multiple sites in "free" top 10 and 3 or 4 in PPC... competing against ourselves... So pretty much whatever visitor would click, they'll end up at the "right place". This kind of enterprise is costing a very high price, naturally...

9:19 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



If organic alone attracts X clicks per day, and PPC alone attracts Y clicks per day, then having both in place can attract significantly more than just X+Y. In some cases, it can be as much as 20% more.

I see this on one of my sites. I am organic #8 and PPC #1. While running the PPC campaign, I seem to get more click-throughs from the organic results than when I'm not running the PPC campaign.

I'm guessing that it's either because the the PPC gives more validity to the organic results or that by the time the searcher gets down to the #8 position, he/she remembers seeing my site already and it seems like a familiar domain to them. Maybe a combo of both.

[edited by: Jordo_needs_a_drink at 9:19 pm (utc) on Jan. 2, 2007]

11:47 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Number one in organic is great and if you can get there for free congratulations.

Personally I am never number 1 in ppc, I think its a bad place to be and in general a useless ROI compared to say position 5 - 8.

I think generally its a big problem for Google. They want people to pay big for number 1 but when you actually take the time to test ROI it's not a very good place to be.

 

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