Organic search engine results versus paid search engine results

Written on 08 November, 2011 by Clancy Clarke
Categories: Pay Per Click, Search Engine Optimisation | Tags: adwords, google, pay per click, ppc, search engines

Nearly all users of the internet would perform some kind of web search on a daily basis, whether this is via Google, Yahoo, Bing or some smaller search engine. Once a search is completed users are presented with the search results – broken down into two distinct sections – organic search results and paid search results. The below image outlines where each set of results are displayed. The orange areas are paid search results and the green the organic results.

So what’s the difference between paid search results and organic search results? The easiest way to explain the difference is to describe what each is in its own right.

Organic search results

Organic search results or non-paid search results are those that appear in the middle portion of the search engine results page. These listings are determined through a search engines ranking algorithm which assesses a pages relevance to the search term and usefulness to the users query. The more relevant and useful a website the more likely it is to appear at the top of the organic listings. You can read more about how search engines work and how search engines rank websites on our blog and in our resources section.

Paid search results

Paid search results are just that – results in the search engines where website owners have paid to be listed. The results that appear at the top and to the right of the search results pages are there because website owners have bid a certain dollar value for their results to display for selected keyword phrases. The advertising system that allows website owners to do this is known as pay-per-click advertising, where each click on your listing costs you a certain amount of money. The details of how the system works are fairly complex. We have a page explaining in-depth pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

WebCentral has a dedicated Online Marketing department which specialises in Search Engine Optimisation and Pay-Per-Click advertising. If you would like WebCentral to manage your online marketing campaign, you can learn more by clicking here or call 1800 800 099 to speak to one of our Account Managers.