Organic Search Rules But Are SEO’s Freeloaders?

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There are two ways to attract search traffic to your site: 1) you can run an expensive pay-per-click campaign; or 2) you can optimize your website. Both require an investment in time and resources, but Google only directly profits off one of those methods. Most searchers prefer organic search, which costs Google money to provide and doesn’t generate a profit. In fact, a 2012 study estimated that 94 percent of searchers click on organic results while just 6 percent click on paid results.


So if Google makes money from paid ads but not organic search, why do they let content creators and marketers “freeload” on its search engine? The answer is simple and can be broken down in two parts.

Reason #1: Google Doesn’t Care About You

This is the absolute truth about SEO and something every marketer should keep in mind. Google cares only about their users, the searchers. Without them, there’s no platform for ads and no revenue. Google delivers their excellent search engine for free because it’s valuable enough that their users don’t mind a few ads here and there. It’s their goal to make the experience of searching on Google and finding information as pleasant and easy as possible.

Don’t think of this as a bad thing, approach it as an opportunity. In a crowded market, you can stand out with a smart strategy for content and SEO. Here are a few keys to keep in mind when creating a content strategy:

  • Create content that is truly valuable to your prospects. If you aren’t a strong writer, hire someone who is.
  • Optimize your content for search, but do it after you’ve tailored it for a reader. Let the content lead the way, not the SEO.
  • Make your content shine on a well-designed website with a fully functional mobile version.

Reason #2: A LOT of People Use Google

Since only 6 percent of users click paid ads, you need enormous volume to sustain profitability. Google has that. In 2012, they handled more than 5 billion search queries per day. That means that 38 million searches were helping Google make money every single day.

All that being said, the term “freeloading” has negative connotations for good reason. While Google provides their services for free, the search giant also expects good content. It’s a fair trade for both parties.

Volume has another benefit for Google. It allows the company to collect an enormous amount of data on its users. This helps Google tweak its search results to ensure users get exactly what they are looking for. A bounce rate, for example, doesn’t mean much when your sample size is 100 searches. But when the sample is 100,000, Google can identify trends that have a significant impact on the content that a searcher ultimately finds.

Google’s volume can work to the advantage of marketers as well. For example, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool can help you track the search volume, competition and related terms that you can target. Data makes tools like this invaluable to content creators.

To sum up the “freeloading” argument, it’s clear that Google wants good content for its users and is happy to provide the service for free. If you’re looking to get your website found, We Do Web Content is here to help! Contact us online or give us a call at 888-521-3880 to get started!