Paid Listings vs. Organic Results - The Tale of the Tape.

Feb 24, 2006 • 8:47 am | comments (4) by | Filed Under Other Search Topics

What percentage of search engine users click on paid listings and what percentage click on organic results (paid inclusion listings aside)? This question was posed by a member at SEW forums and has yielded some good statistical sources.

Forum moderator Chris D posts the following stat from a 2004 iProspect report:

Google - 72.3% organic, 27.7% Paid ads ---All engines - 60.5% organic, 39.5% paid ads---....Internet users are more likely to click on an organic search link on Google, and a paid search result on MSN...

My own search revealed only statistics from the 2004 time period.

I pause to wonder if the search engines, especially one notoriously guarded leader, actually reveal such information? Probably, but how much use it is to search marketers is debatable, in my opinion. Each keyword universe will probably have greatly varying results, but I feel the best way to measure this question would be for search marketers to do it instead of relying on the SE's. A large enough sample of data from websites that enjoy top page organic positioning as well as utilize paid listings could yield much better results, however these would probably again vary by industry.

Hopefully someone has some more recent data sources to report. Join the thread at Search Engine Watch Forums.

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