We recently saw this fascinating research from Bunnyfoot suggesting paid search performs better than organic search.

Consumers don’t realise paid ads are adverts

Their survey showed some stand-out facts:

  • 40% of consumers don’t realise that Google Adwords are actually ads
  • 81% of users clicked on paid results rather than organic results

It’s certainly true that the shading on PPC ads does not stand out clearly.  In addition the heatmap that Bunnyfoot produced suggests that eyeballs are clearly focussed on the paid ads area.

Heat map of search results

Heat map of search results

Is PPC more valuable than organic search?

No, this survey does not prove this.  The survey was limited to searches on ‘car insurance’, and is unlikely to produce the same results for other searches.  However, the fact that consumers are unaware of the existence of ads does validate the importance of a good quality campaign.

It certainly suggests that Adwords have a key role to play in brand building and adds to the argument of bidding on your own brand terms.


By Iain Martin