When you make a search and the search engine displays the results, these results you
see on the web page are of two types: organic and paid. But, what makes these two
types of results different from each other?
Organic (or natural) results are the ones generated because they most closely match
the users search terms based on relevance, and not because someone paid for them to
appear on a search engine results page (SERP).
Organic search results usually appear below or to the right of paid ones on a SERP.
They are purely determined by search engine algorithms, and are backed up solely by
SEO. That means that for your site to organically rank high on a SERP, it has to be
properly search engine optimized.
Paid search, on the other hand, are those which the website owners paid to
have them rank highest on the SERP for selected keywords. Also known as
advertisements, paid results are not driven by SEO but by SEM (Search Engine
The fee you pay for paid search rankings is usually determined by either the number of
views or clicks on your ads. So, while waiting for your SEO campaign to yield tangible
results, you can pay for the chance to get your website on the first page of Google.
You can identify paid results on a SERP by their topmost positions and the word “ad”
which is usually next to their title.
While organic search is generally considered to be the most valuable traffic source for
several reasons, it is also very competitive. A strong marketing strategy typically makes
use of both organic and paid traffic sources to generate the most leads.