Organ offers an overview of the practice of hiring one search team (typically in house, and typically for large companies) to focus on one set of paid and organic search terms, while the other team devotes their time to a different crop of keywords, ad text and landing pages. "Primarily, organizations that do so can expect to dominate search engine positions, outmaneuver industry competitors and maximize syndication when the search engines display ads in different media," Organ says.
The two-prong strategy also helps to keep both of a company's search teams honest, whether they're in-house or outsourced. And as for the question of whether a company essentially bidding against itself is wise, Organ says yes--as long as there are clear goals and boundaries. "Consider that since you are bidding up keywords in order to get multiple placement rather than simply premium placement it can make perfect sense," he says. "And, if you go into the process with discipline and specific goals-such as your primary team aiming for positions 1-3 and your secondary team aiming for positions 4-6-you can eliminate conflicts."