Do Google Ads Affect Search Engine Rankings?

In 2012, a major controversy over the effect of Google's paid ads on search engine rankings have been raised by a new employee, Jonathan Rockway. Rockway have said in a discussion forum.

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Deductions from Rockway's comments suggest that if the social features are relevant, though, then users are getting a better experience. And that's a good thing, even if individual pages get less traffic from Google. Instead of being able to SEO the entire Internet, businesses can now only affect the search results for a tiny percentage of users. That's a good thing because SEO can't scale, and SEO is good for users or the Internet at large.

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More worrisome was Rockway's comments about ads when he said:

If you look at the Google experience from the standpoint of customers, it's pretty good. Users get relevant search results and ads. Advertisers get their content on top of everything else. It's a good compromise between advertising and usability, and it works really well. It's a bug that you could rank highly in Google without buying ads, and Google is trying to fix the bug. Manipulating Google results shouldn't be something you feel entitled to be able to do. If you want to rank highly in Google, be relevant for the user currently searching. Engage him in social media or email, provide relevant information about what you're selling, and, generally, be a good match for what the user wants.

But Google's official stance is that SEO isn't bad and the company's head of Web Spam Team, Matt Cutts did a video on how Google does not see SEO as spam.

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Does Ads Really Matter

Jonathan Rockway's quote highlighted above suggests that ads matter to gain search engine rankings in Google. This position has been supported by many search engine experts whose experience show that paid ads tend to help drive organic search results to a page and support search engine rankings,</p>

Dana Tan, an SEO strategist at iprospect says: PPC, if it's really well done, can augment your results and could possibly have a residual effect that does benefit your SEO.

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Tans position has been supported by Mark Ginsberg, founder and CEO and DriveHill Media who says: the other positive aspect of running PPC ads is that it increases your exposure (both search and display), and leads to a rise in branded searches. Branded searches, like direct traffic, often convert pretty nicely, and helps to send more signals to Google that you're a brand and should the lovely treatment they often provide to brands. So I do think there are residual benefits to ppc advertising for SEO.

Google says: As always, Google search rankings are completely unrelated to Google's paid advertising services and other partnerships, and there is absolutely no way for a webmaster to pay money to increase search rankings.

When it comes to SEO, many owners of high-quality sites can and do get their site listed well in Google's search results without any outside help. Some site owners prefer to have someone else check and optimize their sites, and for these folks we've published some guidelines relating to evaluating SEO companies.

Read also: Benchmarking for Website Performance on Search Engines

This is some relieve as it shows that SEO is still something one can exploit through experience, studies and hardwork. Our experience at Todhost shows that ranking is something related to website content and particularly impacted by web page titles.

The Importance of Google Search Engine

Search engines are crucial to every website project. In the month of March 2006 alone, there were 6.4 billion searches. Assuming each user looks at an average of two search results pages, each of which displays 10 search results, that gives an average of 128 billion search results shown to Internet users in a single month. Search Engines are ubiquitous, and so accepted in contemporary world that the word Google now appears in the dictionary as verb (as in to Google something).

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Search Engines essentially act as filters for the wealth of information available on the Internet. They allow users to quickly and easily find information that is of genuine interest or value to them, without the need to wade through numerous irrelevant web pages. There is a lot of filtering to do - three years ago in 2004 the number of pages in Google's index exceeded the number of people of the planet, reaching the staggering figure of over 8 billion. With that much content out there, the Internet would be essentially unworkable without the Search Engines, with Internet users drowning in sea of irrelevant information and less useful marketing messages.

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The goal of the Search Engines is to provide users with search results that lead to relevant information on high-quality websites. The operative word here is relevant. To attain and retain market share in online searches, Search Engines need to make sure they deliver results that are relevant to what their users search for. They do this by maintaining databases of web pages, which they develop by using automated programs known as spiders or robots to collect information. The Search Engines use complex algorithms to assess websites and web pages and assign them a ranking for relevant search phrases. These algorithms are jealously guarded and frequently updated. Google looks at over 200 different metrics when assessing websites, including copy, in-bound links, website usability and information architecture.

What this means is that the Search Engines provide users with the information they are looking for, and not necessarily the information that website owners and promoters would like them to see. Type the name of a major brand into Google, and you will most probably be served a wide range of search results that include not only the official website of the brand you searched for, but also other websites, consumer review sites, Blogs, online articles on Web 2.0 sites and press releases on news syndication channels. Of course, not all searches are for brand names. The majority of searches are for non-brand.

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There are two major ways to make sure a website appears in a prominent location on the major Search Engines for relevant keyphrases: Paid Search (also known as Pay-Per-Click) and Organic Search Engine Optimization. Of the two, Organic Search Engine Optimization tends to yield the best long-term results and the optimum return on investment, for the simple reason that Internet users are four times as likely to click an Organic search result as they are a Pay-Per-Click ad on the same results page

Search Engines matter because they increasingly determine the information about brands, products and services that customers access online. Being easy to find on Google, Yahoo and MSN is now as much of a marketing necessity as having a strong presence in print and broadcast media, or an effective traditional direct marketing program. And as consumers and organizations come to rely more heavily on them to find the goods, services and suppliers they need, the importance of the Search Engines to modern businesses can only increase

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Google's algorithm searches out Web pages that contain the keywords you used to search, then assigning a rank to each page based several factors, including how many times the keywords appear on the page. Higher ranked pages appear further up in Google's search engine results page (SERP), meaning that the best links relating to your search query are theoretically the first ones Google lists.

For Web page administrators, being listed prominently on Google can result in a big boost in site traffic and visibility. In 2007, Google surpassed Microsoft as the most visited site on the Web. With that much traffic, getting a good spot on a Google SERP could mean a huge boost in the number of site visitors.

Google's keyword search function is similar to other search engines. Automated programs called 'spiders or crawlers travel the Web, moving from link to link and building up an index page that includes certain keywords. Google references this index when a user enters a search query. The search engine lists the pages that contain the same keywords that were in the user's search terms. Google's spiders may also have some more advanced functions, such as being able to determine the difference between Web pages with actual content and redirect sites -- pages that exist only to redirect traffic to a different Web page.

Keyword placement plays a part in how Google finds sites. Google looks for keywords throughout each Web page, but some sections are more important than others. Including the keyword in the Web page's title is a good idea, for example. Google also searches for keywords in headings. Headings come in a range of sizes, and keywords in larger headings are more valuable than if they are in smaller headings. Keyword dispersal is also important. Webmasters should avoid overusing keywords, but many people recommend using them regularly throughout a page.


Search Engine Ranking is the product of hardwork and quality content generation coupled with a proper website structure - design and metadata inclusive. This is not to say that regular content generation is the key to high rankings. The emphasis is on originality, relevance and quality.

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