Evidence that Pay Per Click PPC Supplanting Organic Results in Google

According to WordStream, a PPC technology and search engine marketing software company that just published some research on the state of Google search:

  • The click-through rate of paid search advertisements on Google now outnumbers ‘free’ organic search result listings by nearly a 2:1 ratio for high commercial intent keyword searches conducted in the U.S.,
  • When people are searching in order to investigate or make a purchase, over 64% click a sponsored result.
  • Google has also increased the on-screen real estate for paid ads for high commercial intent keywords. In some cases, between the top of the page and the right-hand side, sponsored ads take up approximately 85% of “above the fold” pixels. As a result the top three sponsored ad listings generate for over 40% of clicks on those pages, and product listing ads 19%.
  • Total click-through rates for Google ads on high commercial intent queries are up to 600 times higher than the click-through rates for ads on a typical Facebook page.

Source: http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/how-google-is-killing-organic-search.html and http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/07/17/google-advertising

Here is an infographic with all that data and more:

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Travel Stats from Google’s new thinkinsights

Google has a new portal for users to discover interesting stats: thinginsights

I discovered this there:

  • 62% of personal travelers use search engines as the number one source for travel information. Google/OTX, Traveler’s Road to Decision 2010, U.S, Sept 2010

  • 51% of business travelers use mobile devices to get travel information, more than double the rate of two years ago. Google/OTX, The Traveler’s Road to Decision 2011

  • 46% of personal travelers are watching travel-related videos, versus 36% two years ago. Google/OTX, The Traveler’s Road to Decision 2011

Adwords Stats (non-travel)

  • Over 89% of traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic search results when ads are paused. Google, Search Ads Pause Study, Global, Jul 2011

  • Two-line sitelinks increase click-through rates by more than 30%*. Google Internal Data 2011, *Compared to standard Adwords ads

Video ads can help your Brand Search:

  • Consumers exposed to a YouTube homepage ad are 437% more likely to engage in a key brand activity on the same day than those unexposed.

US Search Engine Marketing Spend 2008 and 2009

Wow… 88% of Search Engine Marketing budget is PPC, not organic search.  Compare that to the previous post which demonstrates that 88% of click traffic comes from Organic, not PPC.

Is something screwy here?

  • 2008 SEM spending totalled $13.4 billion
  • 2009 SEM spending is projected to rise to $14.7 billion
  • Long term projections show a total SEM spend of $26.1 billion in 2013
  • Paid placement accounted for 88% of 2008 spending, or $11.9 billion
  • Organic SEO accounted for approximately 11% of 2008 spending, or more than $1.4 billion
  • Additionally, the market for SEM technologies, including leasing, agency solutions and in-house development, accounted for 1.1% of overall 2008 spending, or $141 million.

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Web Surfers Trust Organic Over PPC and Prefer It

In Axandra’s How Much is a Top Google Ranking Worth we learn that web surfers:

  • Click natural search results much more often.
  • Trust natural search results more.

The article continues to share several good pieces of data on the matter:

  • An iProspect study showed that 60.5 percent of Google, Yahoo!, MSN and AOL users selected a natural (unpaid) search result over paid search result as the most relevant on a sample query.
  • 60.8 % of Yahoo! and 72.3% of Google search engine users chose a natural search result as the most relevant
  • In addition, studies by Enquiro and iProspect revealed that 60.5% to 70.0% of users trust organic results while only 30% to 39.5% of users trust paid results.

Keep in mind, that “other” 30-40% that trust paid search is a big market itself…