Battle Royale: SMO vs. PPC

Filed in PPC Advertising, Social Media by Matt McGee on June 20, 2007 3 Comments

Marketing Experiments just published the results of a year-long study pitting Social Media Optimization against Pay-Per-Click advertising as vehicles to drive traffic.

Harnessing Social Media – Web 2.0 Grows Up – Free Internet Traffic

They created four new sites and used both PPC and SMO to acquire traffic. This chart summarizes the results:


As you’d expect, PPC was a faster solution. You can start acquiring traffic within minutes of setting up a good PPC campaign.

Social media marketing, on the other hand, is a long-term proposition. It also brings with it the risk of being accused of spam, which is never good.

But the numbers above are pretty clear who the winner is in this battle royale: SMO by a knockout.

Read the full report and case study at

Comments (3)

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  1. mrrex says:

    Very interesting stuff. The only thing I wonder about the study is how different it would have turned out for a commerce site. The sites they built and used for the study seemed to focus on a cause or something that allowed people to react. I’d be more interested to see how ROI stacks up.

  2. Matt McGee says:

    Yeah, I agree with you. It’s a different ballgame when you’re talking about retail, I think. Good point.

  3. billkruse says:

    I find myself that the time consumer is not finding the problems, but writing out the report so that the end-user will have any idea what I’m telling them.


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