November 9, 2014 admin

The Difference Between Organic and Paid Listings

If you are unsure about the difference between organic and paid listings on Google, check out our quick guide below!

A question we often get asked at Headline is ….
“What’s the difference between paying for Google Adwords and Organic Listings?”

Organic Listings

Google’s company slogan is “don’t be evil” and this refers to their listings being honest and free from any cheating. When internet search engines were becoming popular at the turn of the century, many of Google’s competitors were simply ranking companies that paid to be there. Google decided that this adapted a poor user experience and larger companies shouldn’t have the monopoly on ranking for searches through financial muscle rather than their websites being the most relevant to the user’s search. As a result, the majority of websites that appeared on a Google search were put there because of relevance.

Organic listings don’t have the ‘Ad’ or ‘Sponsored’ symbol  next to them (and we will come to that next). Please see the screenshot below that demonstrates the organic listings based on relevance for a “leather sofas” search on Google.


Organic Listings Example




Paid Listings

You may have heard about ‘Google Adwords’, commonly referred to as ‘Pay Per Click’ (PPC). These listings are put on the first page of Google by companies bidding on a ‘cost of click’ mechanism. Websites set up an account with Google so they appear on the first page for free, but if anyone clicks the link onto their website they will be charged.

The cost of a click varies and depends on the words that people have used for their search. For example, a low cost item search like “buy phone case” may cost between 50p-£1 per click, but a search such as ‘buy smart phone’ would cost a lot more. In recent years Google has added more advert avenues to its front page as it’s extremely profitable to their business. However, in 2013 Neilson reported that only 6% of websites are visiting by users clicking on a paid advert. Remember, you don’t pay for your advert unless someone clicks it so there can be value in using this service, but if clicks are not converted into sales or enquires it can become a very expensive and sometimes unprofitable practice.

The below image demonstrates websites using PPC adverts on Google for a “leather sofas” search.


PPC Listings Example

PPC--Example focus on getting our clients to rank as an organic listing on the first page on Google for keywords within their industry. We also have experience in dealing with PPC adverts, making sure each click is charged at the lowest cost possible with maximised sale conversion rates and enquiries.

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