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Organic SERPs V/s Adwords click ratio

Any study on it yet?

     
8:13 am on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It was interesting to see the recent research that reveals only 18% of the users can actually differentialte between an organic listing and a sponsored listing, quite contrary to what I thought.

Has there been any study or your experiences on what is the likely ratio of clicks between a #1 organic rank and #1 Adword listing, #2 organic rank and #2 Adword listing, and so on. That is to say, what is the number of clicks a #1 organic site receives for a keyword - KW, for each click a #1 PPC site gets for the keyword - [KW]

Many thanks

Mc

2:25 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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All the research has shown that approximately 65-70% of the clicks go to the organic results. The remaining 30-35% go to the paid. It seem to be a good case to get heavily involved in SEO:-)
2:39 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This recent eyetools study says a lot about visibility on Google's page:

[prweb.com...]

Unfortunatley, the published study did not incldue what happens when two sponsored links are at the top of the page.

5:43 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It was interesting to see the recent research that reveals only 18% of the users can actually differentialte between an organic listing and a sponsored listing, quite contrary to what I thought.

McMohan, I'm curious to know if the research you mention draws a distinction between AdWords ads, which are both seperated from the SERPS and marked as Sponsored Links, and other PPC ads which may tend to blur the edges between one and the other a bit?

AWA

6:06 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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AWA - It is here [usatoday.com...]

Thanks StevenScott.

All the research has shown that approximately 65-70% of the clicks go to the organic results

Does that finding come from any published survey or your direct experiences?

AWA. love your tidbits here :)

8:24 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The major search engines vary wildly in percent of click-throughs monetized through paid search:

Google = 27%
YHOO = 35%
AOL = 50%
MSN = 70%
ASKJ ~ 75%

[NOTE: data is dated ~ May 2004]

As for paid vs organic CTR, I'm not sure where I got this data but I think it was Comscore:

Each search result page has an 18.4% click-through-rate (CTR) for paid ads and 4.3% for organic (free) results. As one would expect, the fact that organic results are not viewed as ads means they get clicked on more.

As for conversion rates, my own experience is the organic clicks convert at 25-50% the rate of paid clicks.

Hope that helps,

Shorebreak

12:09 am on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2005-01-24-ads-vs-search-results_x.htm

Very interesting. But I find it extremely hard to believe. 1,399 Internet users seems like a pretty small sample... I don't know much about statistics, though.
5:46 am on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Each search result page has an 18.4% click-through-rate (CTR) for paid ads and 4.3% for organic (free) results

As for conversion rates, my own experience is the organic clicks convert at 25-50% the rate of paid clicks.

Now you have zapped me :) Do I then take it as, I am better of having PPC ad listed in the first page, than having an organic rank in the first page, both w.r.t CTR and conversions? This were true, sounds the death of SEO.

5:56 am on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Each search result page has an 18.4% click-through-rate (CTR) for paid ads and 4.3% for organic (free) results. As one would expect, the fact that organic results are not viewed as ads means they get clicked on more.

That paragraph reads incorect to me, think there's a missing digit in the organic CTR. Organic's can't have a lower CTR and be clicked on more unless I'm missing something.

FYI - my experience is that SEO converts lower - mostly due to the fact you'll get hits from odd searches that just happen to show you, and that you don't have control over what queries bring up your listings. I'd definately not proclaim any death to SEO - just SEO and PPC are different ways of paying for listings (nothing is really free).

8:10 am on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have seen there's a big difference between 'informational searches' and 'commercial searches'.

People who search with a buying intention will more click on ads and peaople who are searching for information will click more on organic results.

1:13 pm on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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AWA:
AdWords ads, which are both seperated from the SERPS and marked as Sponsored Links

Most people I speak can NOT distiguish between the top AdWords spots and de first organic results until I point it out to them. Even when they start with saying "I never click on ads, I don't even see them."

I've seen the colors of the top ads fade on some monitors, making it even hard for me te see the difference at the blink of an eye. We can all see the big difference in click through rate once an ad hits the top spots. If the color is visible at all, these results look like they stand out as hand picked or so. I'm not saying this is bad for either advertiser or user, just contadicting that users can tell the difference.

5:19 pm on Mar 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, I should've been clearer on the the stats. Paid ads have a higher CTR *per ad unit* than organic search result listings. But since there are many more organic listings than paid, in the aggregate organic listings get more clicks than paid listings.

WRT AWA's point about Google's sponsored listings distinction, I think Google's aggregate CTR #s speak for themselves. As previously discussed, the major search engines (SE's) vary wildly in percent of click-throughs monetized through paid search:

Google = 27%
YHOO = 35%
AOL = 50%
MSN = 70%
ASKJ ~ 75%

Google's the lowest, and one reason is they more clearly distinguish paid ads than the other SE's. Now, that's not to say that even Google blurs the line significantly. Why, for example, do you think Google puts those ads at the top, but identifies them as sponsored waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over on the right?

8:45 am on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Paid ads have a higher CTR *per ad unit* than organic search result listings

This thread has been a new revelation to me. May be since I don't frequent this forum as much as I do the SEO forums. All the while I was under the impression that my site listed among the SERPs for a competitive phrase was much better off, interms of click-throughs than having a adword listing for the same phrase. May be it is because most of the people I bump into or myself never click on adwords or any other sponsored ads that distinguish. Although this impression stems from a raw data of my own and peers, in the absence of any statistical survey/data one will tend to depend upon how they or people around them behave.

I still have some doubts, which I guess will put in following points.

1. Are we not being biased towards Adwords, since this is an Adwords forum :)
2. Is there a formal research done in this direction?
3. If the only reason Adwords/PPC ads have a higher CTR is because people can't distinguish them from the main SERPs, then aren't we in for a gradual decrease in Adwords/PPC CTR, as people become more aware?

Thanks for sharing all these wonderful info.

Mc

9:52 am on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi McMohan,

1) A lot of AdWords forum posters are also active in SEO. Including me.

3) a) Some people actually prefer ads over free listings, like calling an advertiser in the Yellow Pages.
b) Attractive ad copy can make people click an ad.

 

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