Why You May Have To Use Google AdWords Even With Top Organic Rankings

Jun 2, 2010 • 9:07 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A featured WebmasterWorld thread has a webmaster who is upset that although he has remained the number one ranking for a competitive term in Google for 8 years or so, he has seen his click-through rate from Google dwindle down and down as time goes on.

He said, over the years he first noticed AdWords ads push down his organic listings. Now, he is not only being pushed down by AdWords but also by the Google local listings (Google Places). You also often have Google Shopping results push down listings as well.

His CTR has dropped and that number one listing has become worth a tiny fraction of it was once worth. The webmaster said, "I'm surprised on how useless the organic result become so fast."

Tedster shares some interesting data, one from AOL's data leak in 2006 and one from Chikita's recent report:

  • The 2006 AOL click rate for #2 was 3.5 times less than #1
  • The 2010 Chitika click rate for #2 was 2.0 times less than #1

But Martinibuster tries to see what can be done to help the webmaster, he said:

So here is one way to deal with a specific situation that may or may not relate to the OP. If the phrase is directly or indirectly related to products, but it's not an explicitly buy type of phrase (example: cheap widgets), then I can almost guarantee you that those advertisers are bottom feeding that phrase and it may be possible to push them out.

Has your number one listing become less valuable over the years? What are you doing about it? Buying adds, doing local, adding shopping feeds or blog entries?

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Brian Mark

06/02/2010 01:30 pm

Our organic rankings have been more valuable as this has progressed. Ads have all but eaten profit margins out of selling products, so we're only doing organic now and are seeing much better company bottom line numbers as a result. I'm amazed how many people seem to think organic isn't worth what it once was. Head terms, sure... but for those converting phrases, they're still golden. I'd also say that anyone selling products that isn't sending feeds to Google is short sighted. That's where product sales are headed. Get with the program or get run over in the landrush as your competitors take their spots.

Aaron Rubin

06/02/2010 04:36 pm

Check in Google Webmaster Central and get actual stats on what position you're getting served at and what your click rate is. You may find that you're not always #1 these days do to customer search. If you CTR is low, is there an opportunity for a more appealing Title and/or description that won't hurt your position in the rankings but will get you more clicks?


06/02/2010 05:06 pm

Maybe this will open the door for a legitimate Google competitor that is happy making 5 billion a year instead of 20 billion?

colin mcdermott

06/03/2010 06:42 am

2 years ago wrote a post on this very same theme about getting an organic 'raw deal' from The 'G' ... it's got no better since ... http://www.easiserv.com/news/Are-we-gettin-an-organic-raw-deal-out-of-Google-83.php


06/03/2010 01:01 pm

I read about a test where a big box store (Home Depot I think it might have been) stoped bidding on their brand terms, rationally thinking that if they were at the top of the organic rankings then they shouldn't be paying for traffic. Guess what? Lead volume dipped the instant this happened. Granted, this wasn't an A/B test but it provides an illustration that users are used to the way a results page looks and that branding across the page is a comforting thing for a user. The point is, test these things out. From experience, if a company suffers a traffic/lead drop from not bidding on branding terms then it's likely to happen across the board. Nobody says you HAVE to bid on keywords after all.

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