How Google Ads (Adwords) Affect Organic Clicks

in Google Adwords Organic Search

"I never click those..." I hear that all the time. Google would not be the company it is today if that were universally true. But beyond the simple fact that people do in fact click the Ads on a search result page, there is some interesting data associated with how those clicks might be affecting the organic clicks. It only stands to reason. If the ads clicks go up, the organic clicks go down. You might be interested to know exactly in what manner...

1. The 1st organic result gets 30% LESS clicks when ads are displayed above the organic results.

2. Results further down the page get HIGHER clicks in the presence of ads (this surprised us a little).

3. When the Ads appear above the organic results, the organic clicks go down 30%. When the ads appear to the right of the organic results, the organic clicks go down only 20% (for the first few organic results).

I guess this all makes sense. Our eyes tend to scan top and left first. If the desired result is found above the scroll then the visible organic results will take a hit as the ads get clicked. As the searcher scrolls down the page, the ads disappear and the organic results then become the primary target of the click.

What surprises me a little bit is that Google doesn't frame the ads so that only the organic results scroll and the ads remain fixed. This would give the ads a better chance of getting clicked as the searcher begins to scroll down the page...not that I'm suggesting that to happen.


Data from