A new report titled “Impact of Ranking of Organic Search Results on the Incrementality of Search Ads” – http://bit.ly/H1x3qE [pdf] focuses on how organic search results and rankings impact ad impressions and ad clicks.
It’s a continuation of a 2011 study which found that 89% of the visits to the advertiser’s site from ad-clicks are not replaced by organic clicks when the search ads are paused (i.e. users were far less likely to click on an organic link than they were an ad).
What does all this really mean?
While Google say that this gives guidance on overall trends (you’re better off using ads to get noticed if your rank is below second which if you’ve noticed is practically the vast majority of advertisers), they stress that the study focuses on clicks rather than conversions. They recommend for people to conduct their own randomised experiments to lower the percentage of incremental ad clicks and to use the value-per-click calculations in their original search ads pause study to determine the level of investment on their search ads.
Basically what Google is trying to say is the obvious, if you’re a smaller business trying to get traffic, you won’t get as much traffic as you appear further down the search list, and you’re better off investing in ads to significantly improve your chances of being found. However, if the above doesn’t make complete sense, the team have included this Infographic, showing what the results mean on an actual Google search page.