The relation between paid and organic results is a hot topic since a few years now. But the landscape has recently evolved since mobile searches on Google has exceeded desktop. And following this, Google has made some important changes to search results as they remove the right ads and added a fourth paid listing above the organic results. Mobile results are now overloaded with paid ads and you have to scroll under paid ads and a map with 3 local listings before to find a real organic result.
In parallel, shopping results has kept growing over the last few years and now receive a high amount of impression and generate a lot of traffic.

Here is a state of play of how paid and organic results are now behaving.

Paid search seems to lead the results

As said before, paid search takes an important part of the screen on mobile devices and this plays into 2 factors for search engines. First, Google, Bing and Yahoo need to drive revenues for shareholders and secondly this does better impact user experience with paid ads related to the integration of increased ad copy and call extension. This is potentially due to Google paying more intention to quality content and mobile friendliness. Brands must kept their eyes on SEO and especially on user experience.

The impact of parallel search listings

Search results are more than simple text links and years have showed that the knowledge graph, images, news, local listings have diversified the way we access a result. For instance a study from Search Engine Watch showed that 94% of the time, shopping ads were appearing for retail technology terms like ‘fitness tracker’ and 100% of the time for classic retail terms. For advertisers, this is an important data to keep in mind as you will probably be missing conversion opportunities if you do not pay attention to shopping ads.

Local listings are another kind of listing to watch since the announcement of ads within maps made by Google recently. This is going to have a double effect: offering more possibilities for brand to drive traffic to their website and higher visibility and it will generate more revenues for Google.

To sum up

Those changes have affected the way brands were used to advertise. In you still have not notice any impacts or change your strategy, you should think of it in terms of higher conversions. A relevant search strategy should include in 2016 organic, paid, local and shopping if applicable.