Paid vs. organic search

An overview of the difference between paid search results or ads and organic search results ranked by reputability and relevance.

This video features an old UI. Updated version coming soon!
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In this lesson:

  1. Paid search results
  2. Organic search results

Paid search results

Paid search results are essentially ads. With these, your placement is usually based on the amount you're willing to bid for the ad's placement, and other factors like the quality and impact of the ad.

You can do this through Google, Bing, Yahoo, or any other search provider with whom you can set up ads.

You can set up a targeted campaign to drive traffic to your website.

Note that if your site violates Google's Terms of Service, you'll get removed from search results entirely.

Paid search results usually show up first with an “ad” indicator.

A Google sample search query displays Paid search results
Paid search results

Organic search results

Organic search results are unpaid results that come up organically. 

When someone Googles you, for instance, Google's looking at that search query and determining which pages on the internet are reputable and relevant to your search. It then displays those results ranking them based on that relevance.

The top results get clicked most often.

A Google search of "pizza delivery in glasgow" displays five search results. There are three that stand out, Mom and pop pizza place, Glasgow pizza by the slice and The pizza cafe.
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This video features an old UI. Updated version coming soon!