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Organic Search vs Paid Search

Organic Search vs Paid Search: Learn the Difference

There are essentially two types of searches, organic search and paid search. Businesses across the world try to exploit the potential benefits of these search types, as and when they require. Both the search types have their own share of pros and cons as well that businesses must be aware of. In this discourse, we will look at the differences between these search types and covertly present these pros and cons.

Appearance on SERPs

Text-based results generated through paid search usually appear on the top three and the bottom three positions on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Shopping results generated through paid ads generally occupy positions on the right or on the left of the SERP.

Since these searches are generated through paid ads that advertisers run on search engines like Google and Bing, the results get special preference from search engines when it comes to their position on SERPs.

Note: Look for the symbol ‘Ad’ before text-based paid ads.

Results generated through organic search usually appear below paid search results. They are generated on the basis of the ranking allotted to them on the basis of the unique algorithm of the respective search engine. So, their ranking may differ from search engine to search engine.

Search engine algorithms are highly complex programs, which consider a lot of ranking factors before giving the rank to the organic results.

Instant vs Sustainable

Paid results generate results instantly. All the advertisers have to do is to get an advertising account approved by the respective search engine, bid higher than its competitors and viola! Ads will start appearing on the SERPs of targeted keywords. However, the catch is that, the moment the campaign is stopped, the ads will cease to appear on SERPs.

Organic results are hard to come by as they need to get through the litmus test of passing through the innumerable ranking factors of search engines.

An organic result ranks high after SEO experts put in months of efforts, with correct approach and focused intent. However, once it starts appearing on the desired rank, they will retain that and only get dislodged if the competitor’s page is ranked better by the respective search engine.

Conversion Factor

Since the paid search appears higher than organic search on a targeted SERP, their conversion factor is usually higher than organic results. Moreover, users clicking a paid ad generally do so because they have buying intent in their mind. In comparison, users who click on organic results have, in many cases, informational intent as well.

When it comes to traffic, results generated through organic search get more share of the chunk. This is because they remain on a position on their own and therefore get more eyeballs for a long period of time.

Ranking Factor

Paid search results rank higher mainly if the advertisers focus diligently on the following parameters:

  • The ads should be relevant to the keywords they are targeting.
  • Title and description of ad copies should be up to the point and should be as interesting to read as possible.
  • Landing page should be optimized and relevant to the keyword it is targeting.
  • Overall quality score of the ad should improve consistently.

The following factors influence organic search:

  • If a web page gets a lot of links, it’s a signal to search engines that the web page provides useful and relevant content for targeted audience.
  • Quality and structure of content should center on keyword or keywords it is targeting. The keywords should immerse naturally in the content.
  • Technical factors such as length of the page URL and time a page takes to load should be considered. The lesser the time, the quicker in loads, the better it ranks.
  • If required, have videos and images to support the text of the landing page.
  • The website/web page should work properly on all PCs and handhelds (tabs, mobile phones, etc.)
  • The webpage/website should have SSL certificate installed.

Cost Factor

Paid search is driven by ads and these ads only work if money is paid to search engines to show them as part of SERPs.

On the contrary, organic search is driven by various website related activities that SEO experts work on, in the background. These activities result in giving a natural (organic) ranking to a result that is not driven by any ad campaign of any sort. In nutshell, organic search results incur no cost.

Organic Search vs Paid Search: Conclusion

Which one is better – paid search or organic search? Well, both the search types are unique in their own right. However, if we keep long-term view in perspective, organic search gives results that are self-sustainable. Results generated with paid search only work till the ads are kept in active state. So, organic results can be termed better than paid results. However, the debate continues!