In an effort to promote their own user reviews, yesterday Google made a major change to the Google Places listings, their local business directory. Prior to the change, viewers would see reviews that Google pulled in from third-party sites such as DemandForce.com, InsiderPages.com, CitySearch and many others. Search Engine Land did a great job of explaining these recent changes in this article.
I’ve been telling clients and colleagues alike since 2009 that pay per click advertising is becoming less and less effective. Using sophisticated eye-tracking equipment and “heat maps” (which can tell us where people are looking when they land on any web page), several studies now prove that users spend more time looking at the organic search results versus the pay per click advertising usually found in the right margin and at the top of most search engines.
Emarketer.com just rolled out another revealing study indicating that while paid search was viewed less than 30% of the time depending on the search engine, organic search results were viewed 100% of the time.