There’s a lot of debate about how an organization should use organic keyword marketing versus the way those same organizations should use PPC marketing. And there seem to be two (and pos- sibly three) distinct camps about what should and shouldn’t happen with these different types of marketing.

The first position is that PPC programs can hurt organic keyword programs. According to subscribers to this position, PPC programs damage organic rankings because the act of paying for a listing auto- matically reduces the rank of your organic keyword efforts. Those who follow this theory believe that there is no place for PPC programs.

Another position in this argument is that PPC has no effect at all on SEO. It’s a tough concept to swallow, because one would naturally believe that any organization paying for a specific rank in search returns would automatically push organic keyword returns into a lower slot (which sup- ports the first theory). Those who follow this theory believe that there is no need to invest in PPC, because you can achieve the same results with organic keywords, though it takes much longer for those results to become apparent.

The most widely held belief, however, is that a combination of PPC and organic keywords is the best approach. This theory would seem to have a lot of validity. According to some researchers, PPC pro- grams tend to be much more effective if an organization also has organic keywords that rank in the same area as the PPC ranks. For example, if you’ve bid on a keyword that’s consistently placed num- ber two or three in search engine returns, and you have organic keywords that fall in the next few slots, you’re likely to find better conversion numbers than either organic keywords or PPC programs can bring on their own.

It’s important to note here that all search engines make a distinction between PPC and organic SEO. PPC doesn’t help your organic rankings. Only those activities like tagging your web site properly, using keyword placement properly, and including great content on your site will help you on the organic side. PPC is a search marketing strategy.