Don't have any hard facts, but in thinking about it seems that way to me. Best answer making a case for, or against this is select.

  • Should probably be Community Wiki question, since there isn't really one correct answer. – DisgruntledGoat Nov 6 '10 at 0:24
  • It is now community wiki – John Conde Nov 6 '10 at 5:10

I don't believe so. I consult on both PPC and SEO, and by far I get far more interest in SEO. However, it's still a struggle for many to dedicate time and resources to SEO since it's more difficult to show ROI.

I've gotten good at showing how much money it would cost to buy the same traffic via PPC - it's a very high recurring cost, versus a much lower and infrequent cost for the same traffic via SEO.

Both PPC and SEO are part of an overall search marketing effort. PPC provides more control, is easier to track and measure, but is expensive. SEO provides less control, is more difficult to track and measure, but is very cheap in the long run.

The Google Tax continues to go up and that's when most companies seem to wake up and understand that they can't rely on PPC alone.

  • +1 Hadn't heard the phrase "Google Tax" before but that's certainly an apt description of Adwords (particularly where advertisers bid eachothers' budgets into oblivion - sometimes even for "choice" terms which fail to convert). – danlefree Nov 6 '10 at 23:07
  • @danlefree: "However, it's still a struggle for many to dedicate time and resources to SEO since it's more difficult to show ROI." Right, and there's no reason why Google could not show that good SEO has a value, but they DO NOT, because it's not really in their interest. Long-term Google will move more and more content to pay, not free. – blunders Nov 7 '10 at 13:57
  • Well, the divisions between Paid and Organic search and Google are very rigid. So they're not working in concert to optimize for paid search - I know that much. However, the Paid side seems to work overtime to increase the Google Tax. The Organic side doesn't really promote SEO because they find many SEOs simply do things that ... screw up the natural algorithms they've created. – AJ Kohn Nov 8 '10 at 13:50

After late 90s bubble, only now people are taking web as serious business and making money from it. SEO and ads are now taking a solid place.

With more and more small business getting into web market everyday, I following makes sense for me.

Years ago, only large/medium business dive seriously into internet. And they had/have enough resources to invest in SEO, usability, and so on. Small business arriving now, want low cost solutions, with quick return.

SEO demands much more resources, but last longer. SEM, provides a quick return for little investments, making investors happy.

I have a friend who sells professional kites and have a lousy site from SEO and design point of view. He spends around US$ 100 per week, and makes 15-20 sells with this, what makes his investment worth a lot (he pay his bills, health insurance, bla bla bla common safe life). This is why he doesn't care about his site, SEO and all that stuff. Because he already have what he needs from using SEM.

I don't actually see SEO losing terrain for SEM. They are both related but different things. I see a huge growth rate for SEM, in comparison to SEO, but both are growing in market.

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