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The Results of last week’s PPC Poll

John Doherty —  August 8, 2011
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Late last week I set up a poll asking the question “Do you click PPC ads organically?” I set up the poll because a few weeks ago I sent out a tweet asking my Twitter followers, who are almost all SEOs, if they click PPC ads when searching. The response I got was more than I expected, so I wanted to see if the sentiments held true across the board.

My hypothesis was that the poll I set up would show that very few SEOs click PPC ads organically when searching. I tried to differentiate that clicking PCC ads when doing competitor analysis did not qualify as “organic”.

The results surprised me.


44% (14 of the 32) said Yes. As I said, I expected this number to be a lot smaller.

56% (18 of 32) said No. Once again, this is fewer than I expected.


Did you answer the poll? Would you like to share why you said yes or no? In what instances do you click PPC ads when searching outside of work?

I’d love to hear your answers. I think understanding user intent is important when doing SEO and online (inbound) marketing, so maybe we can learn something together.

Ready?

Leave your comment!

John Doherty

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I'm the new (as of October 2013) Online Marketing Manager of Hotpads.com, soon to be based in San Francisco. Previous to Hotpads I worked at Distilled for 2 years as an online marketing consultant. In my spare time I shoot lifestyle photography, explore new and interesting food in New York, ski, rock climb, and update my Twitter and Google+ accounts.

6 responses to The Results of last week’s PPC Poll

  1. I answered yes to your poll but to be fair I do both SEM and SEO. I do click on PPC ads because I realize that a lot of planning goes into why that ad is showing for that specific keyword.

    That ad is placed there because it is relevant to what I am searching for and I am likely to convert. Theoretically if the account is being managed well, paid search results should be just as relevant as the organic results. (not always the case do to poor account management and broad match)

    • Thanks for the comment, Justin. I’m wondering if what one works with affects what we are willing to click. By this I mean, I wonder if because I just work in SEO, do I have tunnel vision against even seeing PPC ads? To be honest, I rarely even notice them.

      I agree with your statement about PPC ads are supposed to be relevant and have a high chance of converting you. Thanks for that.

  2. While I did not answer the poll, I would have voted yes.

    When the terms PPC and SEA were new to me I never clicked any ads, I like most users hated them (ads). But now I have come to appreciate a well targeted ad, and I know it could be very well exactly what I’m looking for :-) . Especially when I’m searching for products/services new to me I open both the ads and the organic results in a new tab.

    • Martin –
      Very interesting! You are expressing the same sentiment as Justin, who does PPC as well. It does seem like PPC ads do target products better, or at least do in theory.

  3. I answered no because those are so rigged. I don’t have an appreciation for them (I do SEO) and rarely even look at them.

    If I’m frustrated by a searches results in organic I will try a different query a few times and if none of those work I may start looking at ads, but I think I’ve only done that twice.

    • Hey Tamra –

      Thanks for the response. Could you explain what you mean by “those are so rigged”? I actually do have more of an appreciation for them after some of the talks at Mozcon (from Melanie Mitchell and Bill Leake) that showed interesting stats about PCC actually helping with organic traffic.