As a Digital Strategist, I’ve heard this question quite a bit – Does Adwords impact SEO? Or rather, does an increased spend have an impact on your Google organic ranking? The short answer is…


Whether you are spending $10 million in a paid media spend in AdWords or $0, your spend has no impact in your organic search results or on RankBrain.

The answer seems simple, but it’s actually quite a bit more complex when you start to dig into the psychology of searchers. While paid results will not improve your organic results, they can improve the click through rate or CTR of your organic listings. Here are a few examples:

1. Repetition is the key to search psychology.

If a customer is searching for “window companies” and your site has a listing in both the paid section AND the organic section below, you are consuming more of the first page. Given the repetition, the searcher may be more likely to click on your organic listing if they have already seen your paid listing. In this example, Pella of Concord displays in the paid search and is followed by a Pella organic listing.

2. Repeat exposure (like repetition) increases likelihood of clicks and conversions.

In the case of a longer purchase cycle (like cars, window companies, flooring, and other considered purchases), repeat exposure to your brand can lead to a greater likelihood to click through and convert. In this case, your paid search ad can lead to clicks on repeat searches. In the example above, Pella of Concord benefits from the repeat appearances of their PPC ad, the national presence in organic, and their local presence in organic.

Want to learn more about the relationship between PPC and organic rankings? Check out this Whiteboard Friday from Rand Fishkin at Moz.

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