A latest Google study has declared that paid search ads give you a 89% incremental lift in traffic. Now this is much more than traffic one expects from organic search. This study has been conducted by Quantitative Management Team at Google, and claims that paid search ads are much more effective This study also lays to rest any claims that the Paid search ads cannibalize organic traffic.

It is an age old concern that the advertisers have faced- whether search ads cannibalize their organic traffic. They often wonder that if they stopped investing in PPC, then would they make up for the traffic loss by organic clicks? Well, Google decided to answer the question, and came out with such astonishing results.

The focus of the study was that if search ads were paused, then would this lead to an increase in the number of clicks on organic results- so that the loss in paid traffic would be made up? After a study of over 400 cases across USA, UK , Germany and France. These campaigns were taken up between October 2010 and March, 2011, and they compared the data for traffic when the search ads were on – and also when they were paused. Then they estimated the incremental impact of paid search ads on total search volume- which comes to a staggering 89%. This means that 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused.

So, if you were thinking that you can let go of PPC, now that you rank high on organic search (with the same keyword), then Google advises you not to do that.

This study, and data are all good, but has some issues too, that are quite noticeable:

Firstly– the study is done during the holiday season, when traffic soars. Will the incremental impact be the same for all seasons?

Secondly– OK, how can you trust Google, when they say, it is statistically proven to buy their Ads

So, what’s the conclusion? Well , the study says that your organic search results are not affected by paid search campaigns. So, you know now, that you are not wasting money on PPC Ad campaigns (if you were thinking you could get the same results with organic search).

However, take the report with a pinch of salt. If still not sure, then you can do the experiment yourself. Stop the paid Ads and see the impact for yourself (if not worth taking the risk, then wait for the next conclusive study)


Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet is also the CEO of SEO Services company PageTraffic which is one of the leading search marketing company in Asia.