Google Study Shows Paid Ads Don’t Cannibalize Organic Results

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While there’s no shortage of questions on why and how Google works, one of the concerns frequently posed by high-ranking sites is whether they may be paying for PPC ads unnecessarily. After all, if you’re already ranking in the top few positions, is it really worthwhile to pay for clicks as well? A Google study, known as the Search Ads Pause Study, attempts to answer just that question.

Are You Cannibalizing Your Own Traffic?

The idea that your high-ranking ads may be prompting you to pay for clicks you would have gotten anyway is certainly rational enough. It’s a known fact that those top few positions get the highest click-through, and when you occupy two of the spots, it could be that you’re shooting yourself in the foot. However, the Google study brings out some interesting points on the topic. First and foremost, the study found that users who use PPC advertising on top of high organic ranking receive an 89 percent boost to traffic.

That alone means that the ads are likely worthwhile, but is the 89 percent suffering from an “overlap” with your standard organic ranking? According to the study, having a high-ranking organic listing makes it less likely that users will click on your ad. Often, users simply click on your organic website link.

But always? Certainly not. The Google study gives a lot of numbers, charts, and – best of all – complex mathematical formulae that can be applied to your site’s click volume to get a real sense of how your organic and PPC clicks are interacting. The short answer, though, is that while there will be some instances of PPC stepping on the toes of your organic listings, PPC nevertheless remains a worthwhile investment to boost click volume and visibility.

[Sources include: Search Ads Pause Studies & Search Engine Land]

Google Study Shows Paid Ads Don’t Cannibalize Organic Results
Rob D Young
Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began life as a webmaster in... Read Full Bio
Rob D Young

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