How does PPC differ from SEO?

SEO and PPC are a form of marketing known as Search Engine Marketing. Both generate business from people performing searches, typically looking for those who need to buy a product or service.

Google is the world’s largest online traffic and lead generator with its Google Ads (PPC) platform generating over $250 billion in revenue per annum – much more than Facebook (Instagram and Snapchat), LinkedIn and Twitter combined.

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. SEO requires a different skill set where the position is controlled by Google’s algorithm and competes with millions of other websites. It’s not easy to control and many businesses struggle with SEO.

PPC however, has a lot more control – as long as the customer has the right budget, quality score, and conversion engine.

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

Concept, Attribute orSEOPPC
Time to launchWeeks and monthsMinutes to hours
Turnaround TimeHours to weeksSeconds to minutes
Multi-term rankingDifficult to accidentalA simple change in matching
Time to number 1Days, months and yearsMinutes to hours
Measurable CPAYesYes
Scalable CPA per $No – little or no correlationYes


A/B testingNoYes
Ease of switching domainDifficultEasy
Price of trafficFrom FreeFrom $1
Qualifications (from Google)NoYes
Full view of user keywordsNo (limited)Yes
Keyword to visit trackingNoYes
Can scale up/downNoYes
Ease of switching keywordsDifficultVery 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:


Domain AgeHow long a domain has been registered, how long the current registration is and how long its been indexed by Google
BacklinkDo 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
PageRankThe 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 AuthorityA term for ranking a domain between 0 and 100 developed by Moz (formally SEOMoz)
Image OptimizationUse 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
AuthorityThe authority a page has on a particular term
ARhef textHow and what a link says about its target
Video OptimizationOptimizing a video for Google and/or YouTube search
SchemaSchema provide rich data to Google – like flight arrivals and departures, movie timetables, recipes, distances, reviews etc