The powers that be at Google have made a very public point of stressing the divide between the company’s paid search advertising business and natural search, but Search Engine Watch’s Frank Watson says that there are some indications that the divide is not as wide as Google says.

Watson writes that "StubHub is a good example of a big PPC spender also having great organic listings from what appears to be paid links. A simple search of their backlinks show obvious paid links and some not so obvious links – like ones at ESPN, which has an affiliate program that gets added in on-click so the link juice can be passed."

Additionally, other cases seem to violate even more of the search giant’s rules for natural search engine optimization (SEO). Watson says that the majority of E-Trade’s inbound links originate from the online investing site itself.

Search engine optimization (SEO) experts say that an understanding of Google’s algorithms is the cornerstone of their profession, and that large PPC clients could have better access to Google’s in-house experts on natural search.