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Which Is More Likely to Be Clicked?

January 31, 2008
Hi Jill,

Is someone more likely to click on my organic or paid search result if they appear side by side?

D. Greene
++Jill's Response++

The MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Guide shows that people are more likely to click on the organic search results than the paid. However, they also show that having your brand appear in both sets of results reinforces your brand in the eyes of the searcher. So that's a good reason for having your website appear in both.

In addition, if you look at the eye-tracking studies of the search results from the SEM Benchmark Guide, you'll see that people do scan the very top paid results. It wouldn't surprise me if the average web searcher doesn't even know that those top ones are paid for, and thus click on them more often than they might if they knew they were ads.

Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO Company.

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