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In today’s Internet age, search results are genuinely important to businesses, as 80% of traffic to websites is the result of search engines. When you use a search engine such as Google, you receive two types of results to your query, organic and paid. Organic search results, also called “natural” search results, are the results that most closely resemble the user’s question based on relevance.

Organic search results are the goal of SEO. They are results that come about from the efforts of organic SEO services, i.e. good keyword density, high quality links, fresh, relevant content, etc. Organic SEO services that produce results that make it to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages) have made links that are seen as quality and authoritative.

Paid results on the other hand are advertisements, usually created through Google AdWords. Website owners pay to have their web pages displayed on Google, coming up when users search certain keywords associated with the site (that the owner has picked). Visually, you can tell organic results from paid results because paid results are set apart from the main list of organic results that run vertically downward. They are usually at the very top of the page or lined up vertically along the right side.

Recently, Google also started including the word “Ad” in a small yellow box next to the advertisements. Paid results are sometimes referred to as “Pay per click (PPC) advertising, owing to their Google AdWords origin, and can be tailored to who the advertiser is trying to connect with, based on factors like location, education level or marital status. Paid and organic search results are side by side every day and many people do not differentiate between them at first.

What is the difference between paid and organic search? was last modified: December 22nd, 2014 by Alexis