Economic Woes – Which Does Better: Paid or Natural Search?

Every week, I look at the paid and natural search results from Network Solutions and associated brands (and websites). Normally, I don’t compare results between the two efforts, but for the past several weeks, the difference between the two has been stark. There is one area that (so far) has performed much better in the current economy.

And the winner is….

Natural search, by two lengths! Over the past three weeks, there has been a growth in our natural search results, dispite the bad economy. In fact, natural search revenue is up about 15% from the weekly average.

Paid search is a different story. The teamĀ  has been working diligently to optimize our campaigns, review industry strategies, implement new bid rules, etc., etc., etc. The return on investment continues to struggle. Although our traffic has remained relatively constant, the conversion rate has dropped a bit – and we have made no changes to our site, landing pages, or user experience to explain the change in results. Hmmmm…

I’ve looked everywhere to find any articles that talk about the result of the economic situation on paid vs. natural search, and no one has written anything yet. But I did find an interesting article about how to approach paid search in a down economy on the Rimm-Kaufman group blog.