Top ranking commercial websites - search engine optimization versus pay per click.

Kritzinger, W. & Weideman, M.

Proceedings of the 11th World Wide Web conference (ZAW3-09). 2-4 September. Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Kritzinger, W. & Weideman, M. 2009. Top ranking commercial websites - search engine optimization versus pay per click. Proceedings of the 11th World Wide Web conference (ZAW3-09). 2-4 September. Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Online: http://web-visibility.co.za/website-visibility-digital-library-seo/

ABSTRACT
The primary objective of this research project was to investigate Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and compare Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in top ranking commercial websites. PPC is an Internet advertising model used on search engines in which advertisers pay their host (search engines in this case) only when their ad is clicked on by an Internet user. Such advertisements are called sponsored links, and appear next to or above organic results on search engine results pages. SEO is the process of fine-tuning the contents according to certain best practice guidelines to increasing the number of visitors to a website. SEO helps to ensure that a website is accessible to search engines and improves the chances that the website will be found by the search engines. The methods employed in this research project include the review of literature on the current state of SEM. Secondly, an online analysis was done of the 100 most visited shopping websites in the world to determine which of SEO, PPC or both were implemented. Results from the literature review seem to indicate that there are contradicting views on whether PPC or SEO listings are clicked on more frequently by search engine users. However, results from the online inspection showed that the majority of the global top 100 shopping websites have only SEO implemented. Furthermore, the accuracy of in links as the most important positive SEO factor has been confirmed. The conclusion reached was that even though literature would suggest that there are contradicting views which of PPC or SEO are clicked on more frequently, the majority of the global top 100 shopping websites have SEO implemented. This would suggest that SEO is still the foremost method for improving a website's visibility with search engines.
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