The Internet gave the small business the tools and the opportunity to compete on a level playing field with the big brands, search engines were the businessman's friend - now to take on the big boys the entrepreneur has to buy his way in to searches by embarking on expensive pay for click (keywords) campaigns (Google ad words etc).
This may reap dividends if you are lucky enough to choose the right words and you have the right product to sell. The small business should however concentrate on local searches, using local trade and business directories, these are usually free and do give surprising results...
Why do the big boys use paid-search keywords campaigns?
Google claim that its own research suggests that there is a significant increase in clicks as a result of search engine advertising. This might be the case but if you are an established brand that features in searches organically then there seems little point in using Internet marketing techniques like "buying words" from Google or Bing.
If you appear at the top why bother? Why pay for search terms you naturally do well with?
A report by auction website eBay has found that paying for advertising in the form of keywords on search engines has little effect on sales. BBC News
The more clicks an ad gets the higher listing (ranking) the site gets by Google. Google sees these 'ad words' as being relevant linking and clicking - this practice seems wrong to me...