Google search results are split into two camps, organic search results – those which are unpaid for and show up on the left hand side of the screen under sponsored listings, and Pay Per Click ads (PPC) which traditionally fill the top 3 spots of a search page as well as the right hand column.
The infographic to the right is an interesting one which displays the importance of PPC to search these days. It shows that those top 3 ad positions get 41.1% of clicks whereas the top organic result position (the 4th listing down) gets only 8.9% of clicks.
In the past Search Engine Optimization (SEO) dominated the internet world since it was relatively easy to promote your site via backlinking, blogging, etc. Now we’re starting to see PPC become more prominant for two reasons:
First – Google has been modifying their search pages to give more real estate to ads and less to organic results.
Second – With some of the recent Google algorithm updates such as Panda and Penguin, it’s becoming much more difficult to effectively rank a website. That’s not to say it isn’t possible, but the process of doing so is much more intensive as we focus on the quality of links. This means SEO is becoming relatively more expensive
So what do these changes mean to you? Well, if you’re not already actively using Google’s PPC network (Adwords) then you should probably start to remain competitive in the online marketplace.