Google: No, AdWords Customers Don't Get Special Organic Treatment

Oct 30, 2012 • 8:18 am | comments (24) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

A common newbie myth and a belief many of my anti-Google readers feel, is that Google will treat AdWords customers better in the organic rankings. One person asked if these big spender AdWords customers get special treatment by being able to ask for favors from AdWords representatives for organic ranking purposes.

The question that was asked:

I am an important AdWords customer and recently I have seen a drop in ranking for my site. Why can't I get advice on optimizing my site for Google's search results through my AdWords point of contact?

Matt Cutts, Google's spam blocker, answered it in a video:

Here is the automated transcript from YouTube:

0:00 today's question comes from dublin and it's a good one christoph alas
0:04 i am an important edwards customer and recently i've seen a drop in rankings
0:09 from inside
0:10 why can i get advice on optimizing my site for google search results through
0:14 my adwords point of contact
0:16 great question we've answered and debunks the misconception a lot that if
0:21 you somehow by adwords on the right hand side the page that it doesn't give you
0:25 any sort of algorithmic boost so that you like higher in the search engines
0:29 people understand that we keep it a rating that there's always a few
0:31 conspiracy theories but the most part people know that that's true
0:35 at the same time we wouldn't want things to be unfair and the sense that
0:39 if you buy adwords or if your partner or customer or client
0:44 that you get some sort of special treatment whereby a sort excess
0:47 on the organic side as well
0:49 so if someone on the cell site were to write and say hey this person spends a
0:53 lot of money can you talk to them
0:55 that sort of thing where the quality team has been trained to push back on
0:59 that very very hard
1:00 so we want to be as fair as possible
1:02 and that's why even if you buy adwords were a few work with us required
1:07 customer partner whatever work we're going to work with you
1:10 but the fact is we would like you to go to the exact same support channels
1:14 anybody else on the web would have
1:16 so that there's no appearance of impropriety or anything along those
1:19 lines
1:20 the people think someone is getting special treatment and that way

Forum discussion at Google+.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: October 29, 2012



10/30/2012 12:58 pm

From a pure business point of view, it would make sense to actually suppress the rankings of people spending money with you, not the other way around. Once you have attained organic position #1, the value of an AdWords ad is not quite the same as when you are in position #468.


10/30/2012 03:10 pm

It's not business point of view, but get-quick-cash-no-matter-what point of view.


10/30/2012 05:15 pm

USA Government: No, there are no UFO's.


10/30/2012 06:40 pm

That is a bit disingenuous. Search results will always be better when you are in the top organic search results AND you are one of the top three ads. This combination will increase organic AND paid clicks. The subsequent increase in organic clicks will improve your overall organic performance. Yes, there may not be a SPECIFIC mechanism that awards AdWords customers with better organic search results placement, but the OVERALL system is design in such a way that an AdWords customer will typically fair better than a a company that does not use AdWords.


10/30/2012 10:52 pm

Hey Barry how about asking Matt why he is answering questions from his employees masquerading as adwords publishers? Read the first comment and then do a search on " "Christoffel Hiltermann"


10/31/2012 12:56 am

Hm ... Could you please enlighten me how did you make a conclusion that guy named "christoph" from Dublin and guy named "Christoffel Hiltermann" working in Dublin for Google is the same person ? I'm intrigued.


10/31/2012 01:01 am

linked in profile, video where he is talking about his job and the google + discussion Barry links above has him commenting in it need anything else? by the way Anti get your facts right Matt actually mentions his full name in the video "Christoffel Hiltermann" who is the guy that works for Google search quality team. This may be an elaborate joke by Matt for all we know. Either way it kind of reflects badly on the webmaster help team.


10/31/2012 01:38 am

Yup, interesting discovery ) "I am an important AdWords customer ... " sounds questionable at least. I don't have any reason not to trust Matt. Suppose this guy is the rater. Not sure if the raters can introduce themselves as "working for Google ... for the search quality team to be precise". Obviously this "Search University" has nothing to do with Google and guy is just using big name for self-promotion. Well, he got it ... the attention ) Anyway really bad PR for everyone involved.


10/31/2012 01:46 am

Actually "Search University" video actually signed as Google Analytics Conference, 15.06.2012 Now I'm more intrigued )


10/31/2012 01:50 am

Who knows Christoffel may just be a Matt Cutts stalker! Would be interesting if Barry could get some clarification from Matt. Although Barry is probably sitting on top of his roof at the moment watching his furniture get washed away,


10/31/2012 02:01 am

Nowadays we have a lot options to ask anything from anywhere. Depends from wish only, isn't it Barry ? )


10/31/2012 05:15 am

"newbie myth" Newbie myth my ass. Google favors brands by an extremely wide margin, brands just happened to almost certainly advertise on Adwords. Panda also can be averted by buying adwords to improve user stats, those that buy top keywords get better Time on Site, lower bounce rate etc. So Mr Google shill, what say you? Adwords help you gain ranking on Google because that's what Google wants. Separate Google Search from Adwords and see the SERPs. >>"I am an important AdWords customer" My fraud radar is going on. Who uses such language?

Anti-SEO Google employee

10/31/2012 05:23 am

Quick cash is what Google is after now after Larry page

Barry is a shill

10/31/2012 05:55 am

Christoffel Hiltermann work at "webmaster outreach" or Google's Propaganda Ministry. So he asked Minister Cutts a setup question, where's the harm? Barry is a shill and didn't want to point that out, in fact he editorialized, agreeing with Cutts & Co.

Google is rigged

10/31/2012 06:48 am

or suppress the free traffic of payers and non-payers to force them to adwords or to bid higher.


10/31/2012 09:21 am

Does anyone else find Matt wearing a panda t-shirt distasteful given how many small businesses it destroyed?

Matt Rat

10/31/2012 06:04 pm

It increased Google's profits and Googlers (including Matt Cutts) are happy because their stock is worth more. It's about them, NOT about you or me.


10/31/2012 11:39 pm

Well, whatever you want to call it, it would make far more sense to lower the rankings of the big boys - the ones with tons of money to spend on AdWords - than to do the same for the moms and pops of the world, don't you think?


11/01/2012 08:44 am

If Google is smart they'll try this next. Now they tried ruining small biz hoping they forced higher PPC, didn't work as planned. Now cut some traffic to brands and see.


11/02/2012 02:11 pm

No, I don't think so. If "moms and pops" are IT professionals, they must be able to compete. The same as in any other industry. And why care about the rankings, if they are not. Furthermore, have to remind you, that most of the modern big boys were "moms and pops" or "students" projects in the beginning.

Drew Pokoj

11/02/2012 06:31 pm

There may be no boost for your rankings, but I am a firm believer that if you are organically ranked for the terms you are advertising on (on the first page) than you will see an increase in traffic due to higher on-page relevancy... aka higher CTRs

Mark Lane

11/05/2012 08:14 pm

We have Matt Cutts telling us, "No, no. Google is fair and balanced. Even though we are a for profit entity that must make deals with large customers, we would never compromise our ethics by influencing the organic results that keep our users loyal to Google." On the other hand, we have thousands of small businesses all across the web commenting that organic rankings and traffic from Google is disappearing at an exponential rate. Do the research and you'll find more "formerly profitable small web businesses" closed in the last 24 months than in any other time in the history of the web. You'll also find that, in that same time, the big box stores with large advertising budgets had exponential increases in traffic and sales. So, you have to ask yourself. Who do you believe. I for one believe in facts vs. propaganda. Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google on providing the best search results for their users when it came to shopping. Seems they've sold out their integrity. Very disappointing!


11/06/2012 03:38 am

Matt finally answered the question! "Hey folks, this question did come from a Googler, and here's why. For each round of questions, I make a Google Moderator page and then I ask Googlers to submit questions that they've heard people ask. Nothing nefarious there--you'll often see me submit my own questions, for example. When we tape videos, we look at all of them and I tape answers for the questions that I think are interesting. I simply thought this was an interesting question regardless of who it came from." Pretty lame if you ask me. So does he answer any questions from real people? What a waste of time it must be submitting questions! There is a bigger story in this but I doubt anyone will bother. Had another look at Matts Videos first one I looked at was this one and guess what There is an Ihar in prague who works for google! Does this guy actually take questions from real webmasters?


11/11/2012 11:12 pm

I have every reason not to trust Matt. Regardless of what Matt Cutts says, our independent tests have shown a direct correlation between AdWords expenditure and Google organic search results positioning. We're going to be publishing a whitepaper on this shortly.

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