Does Google AdWords Affect Organic Results?

There is visibly a coexistence between organic search engine optimisation and pay-per-click campaigns. Still, there is yet a lack of clarity about whether pay-per-click campaigns can affect organic rankings.

The world of Search Engine Optimisation is a complicated one, with vast knowledge to be gained and even more vast vessels of misinformation afloat on the internet.

As a general rule, pay-per-click ads do not directly affect organic rankings. However, the complete answer is one that is a bit more complex. 

The main reason why this direct correlation is not real is that that would cause search engine result pages (SERPs) to decrease in quality. Google’s mission of providing an ideal search result per query will be redundant if advertisers are incentivised with higher organic search rankings. As this is not a favourable outcome for Google, there is always going to be a hypothetical wall separating PPC ads and organic results brought on by Google. While understanding them may seem easy, implementing and mastering them is quite difficult, you should see this if you still struggle after this article.

But as the case is with most things, there are many indirect factors that Google does not have control over that can bring about an overlap between paid and organic results.

Searchers are More Likely to Click on an Organic Listing If They See an Ad Listing.

In a study published by Google several years ago, it has been observed that searchers who see an ad are more likely to click on an organic listing, or they may be more likely to click that ad if they see a high-ranking organic listing for the same ad. For example, in some cases, a searcher’s normal click-through rate if they only see an ad is one, and their click-through rate if they only see an organic listing is one. But in this supposed equation, 1+1=2.2 or a similar value as seeing these two listings together tends to generate bias in the searcher.

Searchers who have previously seen an ad for a brand are more likely to engage with their organic content if they come across it. 

This helps in building brand association, and the searcher tends to click the conversion button in this manner. An increase in click-through rate (CTR) results in a higher ranking. Thus, if many people have searched and clicked on a paid ad previously, then later in the organic results, they see that same brand ranking in the SERP hence associating the brand identity. This makes the user inclined towards clicking, engaging, and making a purchase.

This occurs as the individual has generated awareness of that brand and has a stronger affiliation with it. In contrast, if this were the first time they’d come into contact with that brand, then the probability of them engaging with the brand is lesser.

Sometimes, paid content has a strong influence on the click-through rates of organic results.

This is specific to the query and is not equal to all the different possible searches. However, there can be a correlation. On an average basis, paid ads to get about 2-3% click-through rates of all the searches resulting in a paid click, whereas organic listings get about 47-57% click-through rates, which is much higher.

But depending on the search, there can be a variety and a larger quantity of paid clicks, or none at all, so this click-through rate average definitively varies based on the search query. So the paid ads can get higher clicks by changing the way the ads look, or even the medium where the ad is being placed, e.g., image ads. Based on the query that the ad is placed for, the click-through rate opportunity for the keyword can change dramatically. 

Paid ad clicks can quickly boost mentions, coverage, and organic engagement.

If a searcher clicks on a paid ad and finds the content being advertised interesting enough, they may engage further or even end up purchasing. In some cases, they may provide social media coverage or other forms of support.

These can directly or indirectly increase the organic result rankings of the brand. So if the experience provided to the user within the website is a compelling one, especially if it’s one that is not purely commercial in intent, the content, its value, and usefulness may encourage the searcher to advertise it indirectly.

By bidding on paid ads, the larger market space is impacted.

By defining which section is being paid for and marketed, one can influence which aspects of a business are given market and monetisation value, thereby creating a value for the content created. When there are more affiliates linked to a specific niche, then it rises in monetisation value. For example, suppose you start bidding on something that no one has r purchased paid ads in. In that case, you have the option to welcome a lot of new competition into the search results, this has the power to influence the entire dynamic of how search query space works in your sector. 

PPC and SEO are often pitted against each other. Although organic rankings are of significance, PPC ads cannot be neglected as they can give a huge boost. The ideal solution is to combine these two marketing types effectively to create a composite strategy.

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