Even if your search engine optimisation strategy is successful it is still important to promote your brand using paid search, according to Susan Minniear at the Official Google CPG Blog.

In a recent post, Susan gives four reasons why businesses should be investing in paid search:

Control - Susan points out that you have more control over paid listings when compared with organic results. Paid ads allow you to control your message more.

Competition - Hitwise stats show that one in seven brand searches don't end up at that brand's website. If you are not using paid search to capitalise on your brand, it's likely that your competitors will be.

ROI - Susan quotes eMarketer stats which show that the conversion rate for brand keywords is almost four times higher than that for non-brand keywords.

The more ads, the better - Some people prefer to click on natural ads, others paid, so it's best to have all bases covered

This all sounds like good advice, though obviously it's in Google's interests to have business spending more on paid search.

Bill Slawski at Search Engine Land has an article which suggests that pursuing a paid search strategy may have adverse effects on your organic search rankings.

He cites a newly granted Microsoft patent which seems to suggest that it could be used to filter out organic results when there is more than one URL pointing to the same page. This is discussed in greater detail at SEO by the Sea.

There is no concrete proof that this is the patent's purpose, but some have suspected that investing in paid search listings can adversely affect your organic results.

The comments section on Bill's article makes interesting reading, as two of the people who commented on the article said that their organic listings have dropped after they started buying paid listings.

Since the organic results shift all the time - and Google/Yahoo/Microsoft would be on very thin ice were this to proved true - we're filing this under 'conspiracy theory'.

Further Reading:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Best Practice Guide


Graham Charlton

Published 5 March, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (6)

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On the flip side, if you are running adsense ads, you immediately have thousands of websites that may, at the time Google crawls them, be displaying a link to your site with exactly the anchor text you would like, boosting your organic ranking.

Andy Nicol

over 11 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

There's always BMW too. That three day penalty from last year... very quick re-indexation.

If I was spending millions of pounds on Adwords I'd be having serious words with my account mangaer in the event of an organic de-listing.


over 11 years ago

Joe Friedlein

Joe Friedlein, Director at Browser Media

An important point to make here - the links used for Google PPC ads (both on SERPS pages and Adsense pages) are NOT 'SEO friendly' as they do not point directly at the destination site.

There is therefore no truth in the theory of boosting organic rankings by having a lot of adsense publishers showing your ad.

Now that the destination URL and display URL have to match (at least on a domain level), there is an argument that there is some value in displaying your url, but search engine spiders will not 'count' the link in the same way that it is beneficial to have normal links to your site.

Of course, Google knows the destination site of all ads, but will officially tell you that organic and paid search results are separate platforms..............

over 11 years ago


Tony Meehan

I think an important point has been missed here, and that is the ability to 'Dovetail' keywords between Organic and Paid Search. It can be very expensive and time consuming to optimise organically for thousands of keywords; something that paid search can deliver in conjunction with SEO strategy. We tend to use Long Tail keyphrases in Paid Search in addition to optimsied phrases, to increase coverage and reduce clients costs via these less comptetitive terms.

about 11 years ago



Our natural search ranking is constantly sliding between 4 and 6 for the keyword furniture. But the weird thing is that for one particular ad variation. We show forth in the natural search, but all the other ads our natural ranking slides back up to fourth. It's weird. Maybe it's just coincidende but it seems like sometimes our adwords ads do have an adverse effect on our natural searh rankings.

about 10 years ago



appendage: I meant we show fourth usually and for the one ad we show sixth.

about 10 years ago

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