In their most recent survey, they asked over 1,000 respondents the simple question “Do you know which links on the Google search results page are paid adverts?” and were surprised to find that only 40.7% claimed they knew which results are adverts and which are organic.
Whilst the percentage of those surveyed has not changed too much since their first survey, with those who are not aware of the paid adverts on Google staying at just under 60%, it has still produced some useful results.
What has changed is the number of respondents who recognise the adverts but choose not to click on them. In January 2018, 7.7% of respondents were aware of Google adverts and told us that they did click on them, this figure has dropped by 2.2% in January 2019.
This may be alarming to businesses using pay-per-click marketing, as the number of clicks received by organic search results is still higher than those received by ads. However, it is worth noting that Google Ad results are more likely to end with a purchase than organic clicks.
Other key results:
- 64.7% of those ages 18-24 said they do not know which links are adverts, the highest of all age groups
- 8.6% of those aged 35-44 choose to click on adverts on Google, the highest of all age groups
- Only 1% of those aged 65+ said they click on adverts
- More men said that they click on adverts than women
- More women said that they were unaware of which links were adverts than men
As Varn have noted in their blog, businesses shouldn’t give up on Google Ads, but instead there needs to be a more strategic approach to how we are using paid search in wider marketing campaigns. Some keywords are naturally going to perform better for SEO and organic clicks, whilst others will perform better for pay-per-click campaigns and this should be taken in to account when deciding in which area to invest more resources.
Notably, those offering products and services may find that they get a better ROI from Google Ad placements as just under 65% of clicks that start with buying keywords go to Google Ads, compared to the 35% going to organic results. So, for searches that have a higher commercial intent, sponsored results usually perform better.