How does Google afford to provide a free search service to the public? Due to its popularity, Google allows users to search free while charging advertisers fees for increased exposure. Before, it was easy for users to decipher between paid and organic listings. Users assumed organic listings were based on Google’s complex algorithm, presenting searchers with the ‘top’ or ‘best’ results.

However, modifications, driven by the dollar, occurred over time. As one will find below, the modern-day design looks a lot different from before, especially regarding local listings. For example, users need to wade through Google’s carousel, seven pack, Google-owned Zagat ratings, and paid searches to (finally) find organic results, which only account for less than 10% of the information offered on results page.

Google’s money-based modifications disturb both users and advertisers. Modern users wonder what results are listed due to vendor merit and which because of commercial intent. Moreover, vendors feel pressure to advertise, feeling organic, search engine optimization efforts are futile in comparison to paying Google for greater exposure and impending clicks. Read about what age group and gender has a tendency to click more paid ads. Also, learn the percentage between organic and paid-ad clicks. Results, stats, and assumed Google intent will surprise you.