Webmasters constantly argue over whether PPC is better than organic search traffic. An acronym for “pay per click,” PPC involves paying for search engine traffic, whereas organic traffic is completely free. Cost aside, though, there are other nuances regarding the two traffic types. To learn more about PPC versus organic search traffic, and which one is best, keep reading.


With PPC, you can start generating search traffic within hours. Google AdWords, for instance, typically approves new ads within 24 hours. Assuming your ad complies with the platform’s terms and conditions, it will begin displaying immediately after it’s approved. This is in stark contrast to organic search traffic, as optimizing your website to rank high for a specific keyword can take months.

Guaranteed Results

It’s also worth noting that PPC traffic is guaranteed, whereas organic search traffic is not. You can spend countless hours building links and optimizing your website. If Google believes your website isn’t relevant to a keyword, however, it won’t rank high for that keyword. With PPC, you can rest assured knowing that your ads will show for the keyword.


PPC offers a higher level of control than organic search traffic. You can specify the keywords for which you want to rank, how much you are willing to pay for them, and even the time or day when they are displayed. Granted, you still have some control over organic search traffic, such as optimizing your site for keyword searches, but it pales in comparison to the control offered by PPC.


As previously mentioned, organic search traffic is completely free. Once your website ranks high for a given keyword, it will continue to generate organic search traffic for that keyword. PPC, on the other hand, costs money for every click your ad receives. According to WordStream, the average cost per click for AdWords PPC ads is between $1 and $2.


You might be surprised to learn that search engine users trust organic results more than PPC ads. If a search listing featured the “sponsored” label, users may assume it’s nothing more than a commercial ad with the intent to sell a product or service. Organic search results can’t be purchased; thus, they are viewed as being more credible and trustworthy in the eyes of search engine users.

As you can see, there are some stark differences between organic and PPC search traffic. Organic traffic might be free, but PPC offers faster results and more control.