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Organic Links vs. Sponsored Links

Written By: Editorial Staff
When you type a search request into Google or Yahoo! you get different types of results back. Some are in a shaded area on the top or right side of the page. These are /"Sponsored/" links. And in the main body of the page, you see the remaining relevant site links. These are the "Organic" links. But what is the difference between the two? Here's a primer on what separates organic links from sponsored links.

Sponsored Links are paid for through Pay-Per-Click or Pay-Per-Call campaigns (also known as "PPC"). Simply put, businesses bid on keywords that are relevant to their business. Then, according to how high their bid was, their ad appears in the sponsored link areas when the search terms are engaged by a user.

Organic links are different from sponsored links. You do not bid on them. Instead, organic results are achieved by matching the user's search terms with the HTML and copy on a particular site. In other words, if you want people searching for "German T-Shirts" to find your site that sells them, you would have an SEO expert code your site accordingly (and not simply bid on the term "German T-Shirts").

Organic search results are always going to carry more power with a large number of web users. This is due to the fact that the results are based on actual relevance rather than simply a monetary figure. When you click on a PPC text ad, it may appear to be very relevant to what you're looking for - but the site itself may be something totally different.

But at the same time, there's no denying the effectiveness of pay-per-click campaigns. For right-minded businesses, it is a chance to have an ad placed in front of the exact people who are searching for the product. This kind of unparalleled targeting has propelled PPC into one of the popular web marketing tools of the decade.

A SEO or PPC professional can help businesses build effective campaigns that drive large amounts of traffic to the site using both organic and sponsored links. Whichever way you choose to get there, when a search-based marketing program is executed properly, it can generate traffic and revenue for your business.

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