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Organic Search & Paid Search: Breaking Down The Differences

Pretty much of what we look for is done through search engines nowadays. Just by typing in the keyword of the information you’re looking for, search engines such as Google, Firefox, Bing, Opera, etc. will flood you with tons of results on their respective search engine results page (SERP). 

The results that you get are a combination of organic and paid results. Paid and organic searches are very different from each other. The first three websites on your SERP are often ads or paid searches while the rest of the results are organic search results.

If you’re running a business and wants to establish a strong online presence, you have to spend time understanding paid and organic search. Understanding the difference between the two will help you decide which one is the most effective for your business.

In this post, you will learn what organic search and paid search are, its benefits, and their downsides.

Organic and Paid Search? What Is the Difference? 

Organic search is the result that is relevant to the terms and keywords you typed in on the search bar of your preferred search engine. These results are not paid advertisements. These appear on SERP because of relevance. Your search engine chooses these results based on different factors. 

Paid search, meanwhile, are sponsored ads that are shown on the SERP. It is very easy to identify one since it is labeled as an ad. This is also known as Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and also a pay-per-click (PPC) type of advertising. Paid searches are usually ranked the highest on SERPs while the rest are organic search results ranked using effective SEO strategy

Organic Search vs. Paid Search, Which One Is Better?

Organic search results come from the SEO efforts done by SEO and Web Development professionals to enhance their website’s organic traffic. Paid search results, meanwhile, are ad campaigns to specific audiences based on their geographical locations and demographics.

SEO, in general, won’t require you to spend money on ads but it needs your patience and commitment in creating good-quality content that will rank high search engines. 

Although paid ads offer an instant return on investment (ROI) that easily boosts traffic to your website, it comes with an overhead cost for each of your ads.

Both of these strategies have great benefits for your business in terms of search and traffic especially they are executed perfectly.

Organic Search Advantages and Disadvantages


  • More credibility– If your brand implements SEO to your website, you’ll have more web authority. Google is best known to recognize websites that implement good SEO practices. Search engine optimized websites have more informative, reliable, and solution-driven content which users are searching for. 
  • Longevity– Websites with good quality content and have followed SEO requirements will rank higher on Google and will continue to hold that rank when updated regularly. 
  • Low-cost– Compared to paid ads, leaning on organic search costs you a lot less while the benefits are designed for the long-term.


  • Time-consuming– It may not cost you a lot of money but you will invest a lot of time to rank your website higher organically. It might take a few months to a year to see the results compared to a paid search.
  • Routine Upkeep required– Just like what is being mentioned above, organic search is a long-term and consistent approach. You need dedication and time to consistently optimize your website’s content and improve your search engine rank.
  • Requires an expert approach– SEO isn’t just any man’s job. An expert with a specific set of skills can pull off a successful SEO strategy or campaign. If none one your team members can fully commit to learning SEO strategies, it’s best to reach out to a digital marketing Florida company to help you get started. 

Paid Search Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Fast and easy– After placing the ads, you will already see the results  a few hours later. If the ad runs longer, you might be able to achieve the results you desire. 
  • Targets the right audience– You get the opportunity to directly offer your product or service to the right audience that is very willing to patronize your brand. Paid search serves the user relevant ads that are ranked at the top of search engines that they click on most likely.
  • Quicker ROI– Since you’re gaining traffic and conversions faster than organic search, you will likely have quicker ROI and even start earning more from paid search.


  • Temporary boost– Paid search can instantly give you the upper hand over your competitors in drawing traffic and increasing conversions on your website. However, the question is, how long can you pour money on paid ads to maintain a strong paid search? A lot of businesses implement this strategy to give them a quick fix since this is very costly.
  • Costly– Without a budget allotted for paid search ads, this might put a hole in your pocket especially if you’re a small business and a startup. You have to set a considerable budget and even increase it to beat your competitors on the rankings on SERPs.

Bottom Line

It is safe to say that one may be better than the other, but if experts say a word, they will surely advise you to take advantage of both. It would be easier for your brand or business to draw audiences or customers from both organic and paid searches.

Also, both organic and paid searches do not promise you instant success of your website. Just like any other investment, it needs dedication, time, and resources to implement these strategies successfully. Can’t choose between organic search and paid search? We can help you understand it deeper. Reach out to us today.

Deb Wallace | CEO | Digital Marketing Services | Tulumi Digital Marketing

Deb Wallace


Deb Wallace brings a dynamic career in mobile and internet marketing. She remains on the industry’s cutting edge for technology and innovation driving new business through establishing strategic partnerships and relationships. She carries with her a vast knowledge in the e-commerce marketplace as well as extensive experience in the online payment processing industry.

Deb is exceptionally well organized with a track record that demonstrates creativity, tenacity, and initiative in achieving both personal and business goals. She is currently focused on providing multiple locations for the company.


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