A study conducted by Penn State reinforces the need for companies to include organic or natural search engine optimization into their online marketing programs. Over 80% of the test searches conducted, respondents went to the “organic” search results.
“Consumers have a bias against the links that businesses pay search engines to provide,” said Jim Jansen, assistant professor in the Penn State School of Information Sciences and Technology (IST). “By themselves, sponsored links appear not to be a viable business model and should be only one part of an online advertising campaign.” via Gary Price
The discrepancy between online marketing budgets allocated to sponsored search and the higher clickthough rates of organic search has become an increasingly important issue. I guess it’s not important enough though, with studies by OneUpWeb and Fathom SEO showing a significant number of companies lacking in site optimization.
In fact, you may be interested to know that out of $4 billion spent on search marketing in 2004 over 80% went to PPC. Only 4.4% went to search engine optimization.
This significant discrepancy is amazing considering six out of seven search engine referrals to commercial web sites come from organic search, according to research by Jupiter’s Eric T. Peterson.