How does PPC differ from SEO?

PPC is often seen as a faster, more reliable and controllable way of earning traffic and sales from a search engine than from organic traffic. There is a lot of evidence to support the theory or claim that Ad traffic has a very high buyer intent – as users associate ads with companies that are live and doing business. Arguing theories against this demonstrate that many users use ad blockers therefore making organic traffic (from SEO) more reliable. There are certainly search verticals or markets which have varying constituencies of users with higher or lower propensities to have an Ad Blocker, for example life hackers, people who like to live off the grid etc.

We’ve made a list of differences between PPC and SEO

Concept, Attribute or SEO PPC
Time to launch Weeks and months Minutes to hours
Turnaround Time Hours to weeks Seconds to minutes
Multi-term ranking Difficult to accidental Simple change in matching
Time to number 1 Days, months and years Minutes to hours
Measurable CPA Yes Yes
Scalable CPA per $ No – little or no correlation Yes


A/B testing No Yes
Ease of switching domain Difficult Easy
Price of traffic From Free From $1
Qualifications (from Google) No Yes
Full view of user keywords No (limited) Yes
Keyword to visit tracking No Yes
Can scale up/down No Yes
Ease of switching keywords Difficult Very Easy


What is SEO and how it works

SEO is a strategy or set of tactical operations designed to gain and grow organic traffic (often termed free traffic) from a search engine. Read the rest of our “What is SEO?”.

How does SEO work?

SEO works by building the best solution to a search query. Often posed as a Question/Answer scenario, because people are typically looking for a solution or answer to a question. People could be looking for a solution on how to buy something, what the best solution/product or vendor is.

There are many signals and hints – in fact over 200 – that Google uses to store, index and rank web pages. We made a small list of things that people have said or writer about SEO:


Signal/Hint Meaning
Domain Age How long a domain has been registered, how long the current registration is and how long its been indexed by Google
Backlink Do follow backlinks help Google understand how important a web page is to others, in a sort of popularity contest. But the number of links, the weighting authority of the page linking to another and the relevance all play a role in how strong that signal is
PageRank The original score of each page and domain on the web per the original “Google” patent filed by Larry Page and Sergei Brin while at the University of Stanford
Domain Authority A term for ranking a domain between 0 and 100 developed by Moz (formally SEOMoz)
Image Optimization Use of meta data and other techniques to rank images – very important for image libraries, stock image publishers, companies who sell products based on diagrams, ecommerce, political parties, hotels and others
Authority The authority a page has on a particular term
ARhef text How and what a link says about its target
Video Optimization Optimizing a video for Google and/or YouTube search
Schema Schema provide rich data to Google – like flight arrivals and departures, movie timetables, recipes, distances, reviews etc