The theory that some web marketers are fiercely defending is that, there is no point in spending advertising budget on Google AdWords and SEO PPC marketing simultaneously, because “paid ads devour organic search results”. These marketers believe that the two forces, AdWords and SEO, mutually cancel each other, which means that spending money on both traffic channels simultaneously is the worst marketing strategy possible.
As an experiment, Google “paused” showing paid ads to get an answer to the question of how such a step will affect the number of clicks on organic search results (Organic SERPs). In the course of the study, however, it was found that users in the absence of search results for AdWords did not suddenly start clicking on links provided by organic search. These findings disproved the view that with a decrease in PPC advertising costs, there will automatically be a significant increase in the number of clicks on SEO search engine positions.
The impact of Organic SERP (Search Engine Results Page) results on AdWords search advertising are less obvious. The number of clicks on a paid ad can grow by about 50% if Google organic search SERPs contain similar results (for example, The advertised website/page appears in both AdWords results and SERP lists).
PPC is long term
Google published a statement in 2011 that 89% of traffic was generated by search advertising, which can not be replaced by organic traffic when ending the search for paid ads. This was perceived by the web marketing community as being extremely questionable. In the end, Google could say something like this just to protect the reputation of AdWords, its main source of revenue.
Reducing advertising costs does not increase the number of “organic” clicks
If you reduce PPC costs to zero, you can not expect to increase SEO traffic by 89% (the amount of paid traffic in Google AdWords) just because users have stopped clicking on paid advertisements, and now the only thing they see is a lists of organic SERP issues.
In addition, a month after this experiment, Google published a report clearly showing that in most cases paid ads and related organic search results rarely appear on page one of the search results list.
How often do adjacent PPC results and SERPs appear together?
Based on the results of the analysis of its experiment in March 2012, Google found that 81% of the total number of paid ads is not accompanied by the appearance of relevant organic ads on the first page of the results of the issue (natural SERP). According to the findings of this study, 66% of PPC clicks were not related to the results of organic ranking. 81% of respondents who saw a paid ad did not associate it with the corresponding result of organic issuance.
According to Google, the chance of finding a high-ranking SEO-query and an adjacent PPC-result on one page of search results is very small. If your resource takes the first line in the organic list of SERP (TOP 1), then the chance of finding its PPC version for the same keyword/query on the same page is 9%. The chance quickly drops to 5%, if you are in position 2-4 (TOP 2-4), and with a low rating, it will be a pitiful 4%.
The PPC announcement noticeably increases the number of clicks on the SERP list, which has a high rating in organic issuance: for 1 position the rating is 50%, for positions 2-4 – 82%, for 5 and lower – 95%. So if you want to attract massive traffic to your landing page, you need to use both channels – PPC and SEO. However, there is some increase in the advertising budget for paying for ads and keywords.
Web marketers need paid and free results of search results
The main conclusion from the Google research is that search advertising is still a vital part of any web marketing strategy – even if you have high-ranking SEO ads and correctly matched keywords.
The results of both searches – advertising and organic – very rarely overlap, which means that using PPC and SEO marketing methods in parallel, you will be able to attract significantly more traffic to your landing page, which in turn will increase your conversion and, ultimately, The number of sales.
Believe or not to believe Google? We leave this question to your discretion, dear readers! 🙂