Lauren in Lancing, Michigan is miffed about the latest news how Google Adwords is trying to put the kibosh on organic SEO.


Everything I read is making me think organic seo is dead. PPC seems as if it’s being pushed harder by Google and Bing these days. What happened to the old Google keyword tool that use to give you organic keywords?

-Frustrated in Lancing:-(

 This is actually a great question. Lauren, you’re 100% right that Google is becoming more aggressive with PPC marketing.

In the fall of 2013, they did change the free AdWords keyword tool. Instead of it giving you merely organic searched keywords, it nows displays them in ad groups designed to help you prepare a PPC campaign. Thus, the new name is ‘planner’.

So will it still help you research exact searched organic keywords? Kind of sorta…

The problem a lot of SEO dudes are having with the new version of the keyword planner (formerly called tool) is in finding exact keywords instead of broad. It’s not brain surgery but you do need to use brackets [ ] around your starter words in order to search for exact searched keys. The following screenshot outlines how you can pull this off…

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 9.24.27 AM

Now as far as whether or not organic SEO is dead, I can assure you the answer is nope. I work with a good handful of client projects that are 100% based on organic planning.

Keep in mind Lauren, the better you get at researching organic keys (again, exact match) that dovetail with your product or service, the more you’ll pinpoint opportunity. Very few sites owners and even SEO firms focus on organic. But why?


Many search companies push clients into PPC because it’s easy. Plus the commissions (10-15% of the monthly ad spend) are huge provided the client has enough ad spend to burn through for six months. You can harvest traffic and possibly convert them into prospects using PPC. But my clients don’t have $20k to spend on AdWords over six months.

Do you? Few site owners do.

That’s why investing capital in organic SEO is smart. The ROI is far better and it’s exponential. Rankings you obtain tend to stick around for a long time provided you don’t do anything stupid like building spam backlinks. Once you’re ranked, the efforts needed to stay there are less expensive than PPC.

Lauren, forget about the hype you read online about PPC. Much of it’s syndicated by blogs and Google trying to sway you into coughing up more of your hard-earned money.