Everyone notices the tinted box at the top of your search results page, providing almost exactly what you typed into your search field and handed to you on a silver platter. Like most people, I never click the Google sponsored ads provided. Personally, knowing it’s an advertisement just turns me away. I always navigate down the page to the three or four top organic listings below.
If I click in the Google sponsored ads, I might find what I was looking for and provide that business with a new customer or I could click into the site and find that this is not what I want and leave immediately. Either way, those first clicks into a website cost that business any amount of money from 60 cents to $3, for one click.
The AdWords program provided by Google is ideal for small businesses just beginning their advertising and who want to get found quick but do not have a full functioning marketing department. However, how long do businesses pay for people to click? A recent New York Times article entitled, Small Players Seek an Alternative to the Expense of Pay-Per-Click, by Darren Dahl, describes one small businesses’ experience with AdWords that at first was unbelievably rewarding, but soon became a large unwanted expense. Dahl goes into specific detail surrounding the actual costs of pay-per-click and how fast it was becoming an unwanted expense due to competition in the specific market they targeted.
Businesses no longer wanted to pay-per-click when studies supported the fact that people went to the organic search results first. This created the opportunity for companies specializing in Search Engine Optimization, SEO, to grow. Dahl states, “The increased demand for unpaid, or organic, search results has given rise to an entire industry specializing in search engine optimization, or S.E.O., with countless professed experts who promise to improve a Web site’s search ranking.”
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