Does anyone know if a website's ranking in a search engine is entirely based on SEO, or do some sites pay to get the top spots?

Asked by Erin Joynt, Westminster, CO Fri Apr 6, 2012

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Scott Miller’s answer
Scott Miller, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Tue Jan 29, 2013
Hi Erin,

The top 3-4 spots on a Google can be bought as 'ads'. These ads fall under the category 'PPC', or pay-per-click. If you want one of those spots, you pay for the 'keywords' that will get you there. They are usually very expensive, but all it takes is a call to Google to find out how much it will cost you.

SEO is 'search engine optimization', and has more to do with your site being found in searches in an 'organic' manner. Organic would be all searches NOT paid for in ppc. Everything that falls under those paid searches on Google (they are also on the right side of the results page), are 'ads' and not organic. There are sites that can help you rank higher in organic searches.

What's the difference between the two? Ppc gets you consistent results but costs a lot. Many consumers won't look at paid ads on search results b/c they know they're ADS. So they look below, where the organic results start, believing (maybe) that they are more legitimate results and got there from 'natural', organic ranking.

Hope that wasn't too confusing. It's my 2 cents from experience.


Scott Miller
Realty Associates
Boca Raton-Miami Beach, FL
0 votes
Joetta Fort, , Arvada, CO
Fri Apr 6, 2012
It takes time to 'earn' organic placement, but it can be done. Especially if you go for 'long tail' keywords, instead of competing with the big companies. BTW - I don't get hits or leads from my website, but do get both from my blog. I only have a website so I'm able to tell people I have one. The blog is a lot more valuable to me. Also more work.
1 vote
Joetta, do you get quite a bit of business from your blog?
Flag Mon Apr 9, 2012
Michael Huff…, Agent, Englewood, CO
Fri Apr 6, 2012
There are paid advertisements that are at the top or sides of a search. There are also sites there that appear based on rankings. SEO helps you achive higher rankings or search location for specific keywords without paying for the placement.
1 vote
Ron Rovtar, Agent, Boulder, CO
Mon Jan 28, 2013
You can pay for ads on search engines like google, but the actual search results are based on the an algorithm used by the service. Generally, there is so much competition for high positions in the most common searches like "realtor" or "real estate agent" that it is nearly impossible to rise high on the first results page. I think most experts suggest you try to get a good rank on pages searched less often, but valuable nonetheless. You can still get a lot of exposure this way.

Kind regards,
Ron Rovtar
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
0 votes
Carmen Brode…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Sat Apr 7, 2012
Generally the first 3 spots on a page and the 10 spots down the side are paid placements, the 10 spots underneath the shaded spots are organic (free based on seo)
0 votes
John 'Rob' A…, Agent, Bakersfield, CA
Sat Apr 7, 2012
For Google searches, the first several sites in the search results are paid for.
0 votes
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