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Which is better – Organic web traffic or PPC?



One of the questions I get asked often is: “What’s better, organic website traffic, or Pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google?”

In 2019, Google reported 113.26 billion U.S. dollars in Google’s website ad revenues, clearly claiming the position as one of the most significant advertising revenue-based companies on the planet.

For the purpose of this article, I want to focus on Google and share some of my thoughts on the matter.

Since early 2010, I’ve believed that organic search results, over the long-term, trumps PPC.

My conclusion is based on the fact that organic traffic is inextricably linked to the publishing of content on a robust website platform that receives traffic to the site. We assume that the site is built correctly i.e. page titles, site map, meta descriptions, alt tags, etc.

In other words, three things need to exist for search engine optimization (SEO) to occur:

Relevant Content – Does the content you are publishing on your website prove to be relevant to the Google user’s query? Does the user find the content useful?

Reliable Content – Over the long-term, are Google users clicking on your content and staying on the page to find the answers to their question? Does the user find the content authoritative?


Recent Content – Is your website content being updated on a regular basis? Does the user find the content up to date?

All three of these SEO items are necessary for Google’s algorithm to index your page, and rank on the page one or two of the search results.

Results on the first page of Google (The Top 10 results) receive 92% of all search traffic on Google. Traffic drops by 95% on the second page. Source: Google 2019

So, the big takeaway is that when you are publishing content that answers your audience questions, they find the content to be informative and reliable, and you’re publishing content to your site regularly – you will be found and will drive more traffic to your site exponentially. This is also known as “Inbound” marketing.

Everything you invest in your website becomes an asset to your company – much like your other tangible assets in your organization.

On the other hand, we have PPC – or paid Google AdWords campaigns.

People often say, “I never click on those ads. I don’t think they work.” Well, Google wouldn’t show $113 billion in advertising revenue in 2019 if nobody clicked their ads. PPC means customers pay per click. So, lots of people actually do click on the ads. That’s a fact.

I recommend Google PPC campaigns in short-term situations where websites aren’t ranking organically. Paid search helps you get visitors to your website today and also speeds up the process of optimizing your landing pages for higher conversions, which pays off exponentially in the long run. PPC is more of an Outbound marketing methodology.


These are just the basics of my theory on using content to drive your organic website traffic – compared with paying for traffic to your site. I hope this helps and encourages you to give it a try.

As I continue on my mission to help people with their marketing and advertising across the Mountain State, I want to thank you for reading. If you have questions on this topic, I’d love to talk to you. Please email me:

Until next time…

Jim Matuga is the founder and President of InnerAction Media, a marketing agency in Morgantown, WV. His new book available on AMAZON – Marketing Matters was inspired by his regular column here in the State Journal. You can listen to his weekly podcast “Positively West Virginia” on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play. He has extensive experience in leadership positions with West Virginia media companies, including newspapers, TV, cable, direct mail, radio, agency and digital.

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster



Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”



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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.



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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.


But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.


One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.


Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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