By David Dubrino

We’ve just had a very interesting conversation in the office about how much people spend on traffic, and the bottom line is… they spend a lot. It’s really amazing to see what Web traffic costs, and by putting a number on search engine traffic specifically, it really puts it all in perspective and makes you realize how vital the Internet is to any business.

We started looking at different kinds of stores to see how much they are spending a month on their Google traffic, or how much their organic (free) traffic would be worth if they had to pay for it. We were absolutely blown away at the results. Sure, we expected people to be spending money, and also expected that their organic traffic would cost a lot to reproduce, but we were absolutely amazed at how deep the pockets went.

I’ve got two babies, one 3 months old, and one 20 months old, so we go through a lot of diapers. We recently began purchasing our diapers from because they have free next day shipping and it takes all of the hassle out of getting boxes and boxes of diapers every month. Well somehow got our business, maybe it’s because of the $92,000 worth of Google traffic they buy every month, or maybe because their organic traffic would cost someone without these rankings nearly $220,000 a month to reproduce!

You would expect big chain stores to spend a lot, but we were all shocked to see that Target spends around $2.82 million dollars a month on Google traffic alone! This is insane compared to Walmart who only spends around $55k a month which is the equivalent of a small or medium sized Web only ecommerce store. Target’s organic (free) traffic is also worth about $9 million if you were to have to pay for all of the positions and clicks they get from Google for free, while Walmart’s is worth about $8 million according to our tools.

Putting dollar amounts on other peoples search engine traffic is interesting, but also outlines a very important fact, if you’re not spending money on Web traffic, someone else is. You may not think that you need to purchase Web traffic because it doesn’t apply to your business model. You may think this because you’re a manufacturer, or you’ve got sales people that push sales, but how will you “pull” people to your brand through the use of the Internet if you are nowhere to be found?

In every corner of every market there are people using the Internet to search for products, services and information. In each of these marketplaces there are also online marketers that are showing them exactly what they want to see. Purchasing Web traffic is just one part of running a business, but it is quickly becoming evident that it’s one part of running a “business” when it used to be thought of as only a part of running an “Internet Business”.