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Paid Search Ads Do Not Cannibalize Organic Clicks

Last updated 7 years ago

If you are unsure of the difference between paid listings and organic listings online, here is the main difference.  Organic listings are the listings of websites that appear due to their relevancy to consumers.  A website is ranked by a variety of factors including its content and keywords.  Every search engine has its own secret formula to determine a website's value or rank.  On the other hand, paid listings are essentially text advertisements for your website.  There are a set of relevant keywords associated with your business that you bid on.  Each time a consumer clicks on your paid search ad, you pay for that click.  If a consumer does not click on your ad, you do not pay, hence, pay per click (PPC).

See below for a real life example.  I typed in "reachlocal" as my search term.  The red arrows show paid search ads and the blue arrow shows the organic listings.  Hopefully this makes more sense now!

Now that you understand the basics, many business owners often wonder how their PPC campaign will affect organic clicks for their website.  According to Google, implementing a PPC campaign for your business will not ???cannibalize clicks from your organic search results.  Google's statisticians have conducted over 400 studies to observe how paid search ads affect organic clicks for websites.  Within these 'Search Ads Pause Studies,' Google has determined that "on average, the incremental ad clicks percentage across verticals is 89%. This means that a full 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused. This number was consistently high across verticals" (Crum).

Is your business currently running a PPC campaign?  How does your company’s website rank organically?  Has your organic position shifted in the last 6 months?  Share your thoughts below in a comment!

About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $1,000,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.

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The complete Google report can be read at


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