Organic Vs Paid Listings on Google

Consistently I have run into confusion on clients’ parts thinking that participating in sponsored search or paid advertising listings on Google, Yahoo or MSN will raise their organic ranking. This is not true.

Paid or Sponsored Search
These are the text ads that appear on the right side of the search query results screen and at the top of the page typically in a colored box. How one appears here is to use a paid advertising service unique for each search engine for Google, it is Google AdWords, for Yahoo, it is Yahoo Sponsored Search, and for MSN it is Microsoft adCenter. To get top ranking in the results you must have a higher than you competitor maximum cost per click setting and a”satisfactory” click through rate. You also must have a Good or Great quality score. Quality score is the factor of a tight match between your landing page content, ad text and keyword trigger list. To get in the colored boxes you need typically a click through rate of over 2.5%.

Organic Search Listings
This is also know as the SERPs (search engine results placement). Organic listings are determined by each search engine’s algorithm. Google has over 150 different factors which it will consider to determine your site’s placement on the page. Some of these factors include size of your website, how frequently you update your content, how many quality sites on your topic link into yours, the keyword density of your keywords on the page and their match to the search query, how long you have held your domain name, the length of your renewal, and many other secret factors known only to Google.

Organic and paid results do not affect each other. They are entirely separate and participation in one has absolutely no bearing on performance in the other.