The first position is that PPC programs can hurt organic keyword programs. According to subscribers
to this position, PPC programs damage organic rankings because the act of paying for a listing auto-
matically reduces the rank of your organic keyword efforts. Those who follow this theory believe that
there is no place for PPC programs.
Another position in this argument is that PPC has no effect at all on SEO. It’s a tough concept to
swallow, because one would naturally believe that any organization paying for a specific rank in
search returns would automatically push organic keyword returns into a lower slot (which sup-
ports the first theory). Those who follow this theory believe that there is no need to invest in PPC,
because you can achieve the same results with organic keywords, though it takes much longer for
those results to become apparent.
The most widely held belief, however, is that a combination of PPC and organic keywords is the best
approach. This theory would seem to have a lot of validity. According to some researchers, PPC pro-
grams tend to be much more effective if an organization also has organic keywords that rank in the
same area as the PPC ranks. For example, if you’ve bid on a keyword that’s consistently placed num-
ber two or three in search engine returns, and you have organic keywords that fall in the next few
slots, you’re likely to find better conversion numbers than either organic keywords or PPC programs
can bring on their own.
It’s important to note here that all search engines make a distinction between PPC and organic SEO.
PPC doesn’t help your organic rankings. Only those activities like tagging your web site properly,
using keyword placement properly, and including great content on your site will help you on the
organic side. PPC is a search marketing strategy.
PPC Is Not Paid Inclusion!
ne distinction that is important for you to understand is the difference between PPC and paid-
inclusion (PI) services. Many people believe that PPC and PI services are the same type of mar-
keting, but there can be some subtle differences. For starters, paid-inclusion services are used by
some search engines to allow web-site owners to pay a one-year subscription fee to ensure that their
site is indexed with that search engine all the time. This fee doesn’t guarantee any specific rank in
search engine results; it only guarantees that the site is indexed by the search engine.
Yahoo! is one company that uses paid inclusion to populate its search index. Not all of the listings
in Yahoo! are paid listings, however. Yahoo! combines both normally spidered sites and paid sites.
Many other search engines have staunchly avoided using paid-inclusion services — Ask.com and
Google are two of the most notable — because most users feel that paid inclusion can skew the
search results. In fact, search engines that allow only paid-inclusion listings are not likely to survive
very long, because users won’t use them.
There is a bit of a gray line between paid inclusion and PPC. That line begins at about the point where
both services are paid for. Detractors of these types of programs claim that paying for a listing — any
listing — is likely to make search returns invalid because the theory is that search engines give higher
ranking to paid-inclusion services, just as they do to PPC advertisements.
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