PPC News Written by 0

Part of the appeal of pay per click advertising comes in the form that, with a budget, you can have any link appear above organic search results, to any contextual keywords of your choosing. This results in targeted clicks and potential conversions once on the landing page.

Part of the success of PPC comes down to the fact that some web users will struggle to see the difference between paid search results and organic search results. For that matter, anyone that briefly scans a web page will struggle to see the difference. This is because the differentiating factors between them are not that big. This includes:

  • Small green ‘Ad’ logo next to the URL
  • The ad extensions that PPC adverts have on hand to use

Apart from this, PPC search adverts are identical in their structure and colour scheme to organic search results. Such similarities can be made clear from a recent study conducted by Varn, who highlighted from a study that nearly two thirds of web users cannot tell the difference between adverts on Google search results and the organic results themselves.

The study was conducted to 1,000 web users, asking the simple question, ‘Do you know which links on the Google search results page are paid adverts?’ – 59.7% of people were unaware of the paid advert links.


Camouflaged PPC Adverts?

Such a study is always interesting to dissect when it comes to PPC. Considering the vast majority of Google’s earnings come from PPC, it is interesting to see just how many web users are ‘unaware’ that they are clicking onto adverts. Considering Google recently had a huge £2.16 billion fine for altering Google Shopping adverts to benefit the search giant, it should come as no surprise if Google are misleading web users to gain more clicks (and, therefore, more revenue for themselves and advertisers).

This brings forward some positives and negatives to the findings of the study:



  • Nearly two thirds of people clicking onto adverts are unaware that they are adverts. This can also work to your disadvantage, especially if the landing page and advert are not completely contextual and linked to what the web user is trying to search for.
  • Is this ethical? The findings suggest that two thirds of clicks are misleading clicks. People will generally look to avoid clicking on adverts when they see them. Therefore, is it wrong that PPC search adverts are gaining clicks without advertising themselves clearly as PPC adverts?

Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as Poem Analysis, Book Analysis, and Ocean Info. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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