This chapter is part of the free e-book 'Basics of Search Engine Marketing', published in May 2005.
5.6 Pros and Cons of PPC Compared to SEO
Instant implementation. Unlike search engine optimization, pay per click enables quick advertising campaigns. It usually takes only a couple of hours until the advertisements appear on the search results. The results can also be seen very quickly and adjustments to the campaign can be made instantly.
Pay per click advertising is reliable compared to search engine optimization, as advertisers can be certain that they will appear high in the SERPs.
Unlike with SEO, pay per click advertisement will not suddenly disappear from the search results. As long as the advertiser pays for the advertisements, they will appear in the SERPs. Therefore, PPC is much more stable than SEO.
Whereas some people do not always trust companies that advertise on the SERPs as much as those that rank organically, 62 percent of searchers are unaware of the difference between paid for and organic results (BBC News 2005).
The advertiser has to pay for every click, as compared to SEO, where clicks do not cost anything. The clicks on PPC ads can add up to a great deal of money.
Many people do not look at the pay per click adverts on the left at all, according to an eye-tracking study, as illustrated in figure 5.1. All participants in that study looked at the top results on the right side of the screen and around 50 percent of the participants ignored paid advertisements on the left side completely. (Eyetools 2005.) On the other hand, those advertisers that bid the highest can usually secure a spot at the top of the right side of the screen, which is the best placement according to this study.