It’s good for search engines – PPC enables search engines to cater to searchers and advertisers simultaneously. The searchers comprise their user-base, while the advertisers provide them with their revenue stream. The engines want to provide relevant results, first and foremost, while offering a highly targeted, revenue-driving advertising channel.
In 2012 Google was ruled to have engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in possibly the first legal case of its kind. The Commission ruled unanimously that Google was responsible for the content of its sponsored AdWords ads that had shown links to a car sales website CarSales. The Ads had been shown by Google in response to a search for Honda Australia. The ACCC said the ads were deceptive, as they suggested CarSales was connected to the Honda company. The ruling was later overturned when Google appealed to the Australian High Court. Google was found not liable for the misleading advertisements run through AdWords despite the fact that the ads were served up by Google and created using the company’s tools.
You want better PageRank? Then you want links, and so the link-selling economy emerged. Networks developed so that people could buy links and improve their PageRank scores, in turn potentially improving their ability to rank on Google for different terms. Google had positioned links as votes cast by the “democratic nature of the web.” Link networks were the Super PACs of this election, where money could influence those votes.
Another excellent guide is Google’s “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.” This is a free PDF download that covers basic tips that Google provides to its own employees on how to get listed. You’ll find it here. Also well worth checking out is Moz’s “Beginner’s Guide To SEO,” which you’ll find here, and the SEO Success Pyramid from Small Business Search Marketing.