Google advocating AdWords advertising ahead of SEO

Here’s an interesting ad from Google we spotted this week which advocates website owners start with PPC advertising on Google before they try SEO.


It’s not surprising that Google has this view, given they make so much money from their AdWords service. Based on the Q1 2015 figures just released by the NZ IAB we reckon Google is making around $1M a day in New Zealand from AdWords.

So are they right? Should businesses use PPC paid search advertising before SEO?

As a search marketing agency that’s been providing both PPC and SEO services to clients since 2002 we think we have an unbiased view. The short answer is that both PPC and SEO each have their pros and cons.

If you need results fast, PPC is definitely the way to go – SEO takes time to deliver results (usually more than people expect). We also really like PPC because it’s a great way to quickly test how effective keywords are from a conversion perspective before investing time and effort into SEO.

But PPC comes at a cost and one that’s increasing every day as more and more advertisers enter the market which is an auction. And the more bidders at an auction , the higher the price the winning bid has to be.

PPC is a bit like a juke box – it can play some lovely music, BUT you’ve got to keep pushing those coins into the slot or the music dies.

On the other hand SEO is a longer game – it takes more time to kick in with results, but when it does the cost is substantially lower than PPC, where you have to pay Google for every single click.

Why should you care?

We think it’s a little ironic that Google, which started off life as an organic search engine, today advocates PPC ahead of SEO which is all about improving organic search performance. But then it’s hardly surprising Google is so totally focused on PPC advertising – they operate in a highly competitive market and ultimately answer to Wall Street.

As a website owner you’ll have a limited marketing budget you can allocate to promoting your business through search marketing. How do you allocate those funds? The truth is that for most websites the best answer is a mixture of both PPC advertising and SEO.


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About the Author Jeremy Templer & Mark Sceats

Jeremy and Mark are two of the partners behind SureFire Search. Despite their deceptively youthful appearances, both have worked in search marketing for many years. To put that in context, Google didn't even exist when Jeremy started.

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