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SERP With One Organic Result And 7 Adwords Ads

     
12:15 pm on Aug 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I was searching something using exact text match (part of the sentence) and the SERP displayed had a single organic result and seven Adwords Ads. The sentence I searched for (in quotes) had around 20 words. I wanted to see if it is unique to the site and when I searched for it, the resulting SERPs had:
4 Adwords
1 organic result
3 Adwords

Here is the image:
[i.imgur.com...]

Now I know that Google serves 4 Adwords on the top of the page and 3 adwords on the bottom of the page for commercial queries, but when the query result is a single organic entry, this looks really overpowering.
1:52 pm on Aug 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Well Sandra - At least you got one organic result. If it had returned "no results found", then the page might have had nothing but ads.
2:57 pm on Aug 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Finally. A Google result I can actually control! :)

It does seem a tad much. That said I can't think of any non-SEO queries I've ever done that have resulted in only one result. Were you searching for content on your site or searching for something else? I'm curious.

My assumption is that "SERP with only one result" is an edge case so a result like this is a non-issue because it never happens in real life, but maybe I'm wrong.
3:57 pm on Aug 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@aristotle, no results is better as in that case Google shows a message that there are no results and is showing results without quotes, so you do get a number of organics in that case

@bakedjake I was trying to see if anyone duplicated a content on that page so I took a sentence from the page and put it in quotes to search. I would agree that SERP with only one result is an edge case but the look of the SERP really threw me.
4:32 pm on Aug 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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i know it's an unusual search, but it's funny how they would be considered to be top of the SERPs, in position one... what a joke
7:31 pm on Aug 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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IMO, one organic result for 20-words in quotes is not an edge case. It is an expected result... if the content has not been scraped and the site hasn't been built on a platform that internally duplicates content. Searching in quotes is my method too for initially checking uniqueness of content, and... depending on the length of the quote and the situation of the originating site... I see one organic result fairly often.

(Worth noting that scrapers or content spinners, though, will often try to obfuscate long quotes by breaking them up, so 20-words may actually be too long a quote to check for scraping. I often checking clauses in quoted chunks of 6-8 words. Copyscape is good for spotting chopped up pages.)

What strikes me as unusual here is not the one organic result, but the seven AdWords ads. Generally, when I search long quotes, I don't get any AdWords ads at all, even when the quote includes commercially attractive phrases. I've just run some tests to confirm this, including tests in local computer repair area suggested by the posted screen capture (I used some quotes from local sites in that market area).

I'm curious whether the ads were a glitch. It would be interesting to know whether other tests, perhaps done in different sessions or in different browsers, produce similar results.
7:40 pm on Aug 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Could be remarketing for search ads too Bob - not necessarily kw triggered.
7:50 pm on Aug 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@bakedjake I was trying to see if anyone duplicated a content on that page so I took a sentence from the page and put it in quotes to search. I would agree that SERP with only one result is an edge case but the look of the SERP really threw me.


Now you have me curious... do these competitors copy your content? Because those also could be dynamic search ads getting triggered on content if they were (not saying this is the case, just that it's conceivable).
8:21 pm on Aug 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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remarketing
A very intriguing idea, Jake.

That said, I did a very quick and admittedly sloppy test with a company that remarkets constantly, in a niche that remarkets constantly... by visiting the company site, copying roughly 20-words of text (on topic for the keywords that I know trigger AdWords ads in auto-complete after only two letters are typed), and I used that quote as a query.

This returned many organic results... but zero ads. I'm not saying it's not possible... it's just that I haven't seen it with AdWords. I know that I'll see the remarketing ads everywhere else.

Regarding the site that aakk9999 was searching, I don't know how likely it is that the site owner was remarketing with search ads... but that's a good follow-up question. I believe it's a site that's being reviewed in our supporters Google forum.

Again, I'm guessing that the question also is whether a long quoted phrase constitutes that kind of 'broad' query which would trigger AdWords results for that particular site.
8:28 pm on Aug 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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PS: Jake, now seeing your follow-up post, there's a question in my mind about whether that site had been hacked... but I haven't had time to respond on that thread. Yes, it had been copied, and, per the OP, the copy had then been taken down.

So, to take your question about dynamic search ads, there's perhaps a question about what Googlebot is seeing on the landing pages of the Adwords ads being triggered... but also, then, why the same content isn't being seen on an organic search.
8:08 am on Aug 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Well I have seen organicless SERPS for local travel where you have 4 ads/ map / knowledge graph 3 pack
and only then organic results after a full scroll on 23" monitor.
10:12 am on Aug 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I have seen organicless SERPS for local travel where you have 4 ads/ map / knowledge graph 3 pack
Nutterum, in the case of this search, if you make the organic phrase 27 words long, as the situation is here, and put it in quotes, you're likely to reduce the number of organic matches considerably. Sounds like the the result you're describing had an organic phrase that may have had no matches at all. It's very easy to create such a phrase.

In the case of the OP here, it's looking like there was just one match... the original page.... and the AdWords results were just normal sites targeting keywords that were being bid upon for the same phrase... [red widgets cityname]... and which was popular enough to fill up all the available ad space.

This is about a site we're discussing in Supporters Google... and subsequently to the original report of 7 ads, I've just been seeing 3 ads along with the single organic match. We'll see what appears when we get back to weekday prime-time.

So, this isn't outrageous... it's not as though Google is eating both our breakfast and our lunch. It's actually quite a normal result... with apparently no blood on the ground... and I assume that since lots of people are bidding on a phrase, it's possible that some of them, at least, are making money in the process.
6:04 am on Aug 23, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I don't get what is different in my case and his case. I can make a 20 word search phrase and if one of the keywords is heavy hitter I can still get 1 result and 7 ads easy. That is not Google, that is newbie or impression heavy businesses advertising. In my case I had to make a full scroll before I can see the SERP, something that is much more disturbing in my eyes, because this means that it does not matter if you are the most relevant result, when no one can actually see you.

Edit: I see where the confusion is coming from. You took SERPless as no results shown at all. No-no. What I meant was that there was no visible SERPs above the fold, hell on smaller monitors (read laptops) I won't be surprised if one needs two full scrolls before they can actually see a result.