Paid media | 27/08/2014

PPC: “No one ever clicks on those ads!”

Posted by Christian Ryan

All search marketers have heard this from at least one potential customer at some point throughout their career. Being Google Partners, we obviously strongly disagree; we’ve seen the ROI that PPC can generate for advertisers.
As with all statements, they only become true when they’re backed up by fact.

Here are some stats and figures which prove that users definitely do click on those ads:

  • 6% of Google users click on ads vs. 94% in the Organic listings

This stat from Group M in 2012 suggests that PPC accounts for a small percentage of the market share, however, if you consider there were 2,161,530,000,000 searches in 2013, 6% of 2,161,530,000,000 is 129,691,800,000 – that’s a vast amount of opportunity for advertisers.

  • 97% of Google revenue comes from its advertising platform

Google made £20 billion in 2013. Of this revenue, 97% of it came from its advertising platform. This makes Google’s worth more than Panama (GDP). 70% of this revenue came from Adwords, while 30% came from Adsense.
Everyone in the world is aware of the wealth Google possess which they’ve built up by getting people to “clicks on those ads”.

  • 36% of users did not realise Google Adwords were ads

A study from Econsultancy this year revealed that 36% of regular Google users weren’t actually aware that the ads positioned in the top and right hand page bars were ads.

Cynics suggest that this is exactly what Google want, as they don’t generate revenue from users clicking on organic listings. The paid search listings have also gone through a number of guises in recent years. Many experts felt that this was to blur the lines of paid and organic listings. The most recent response from Google on this issue has been to distinguish its ads with a yellow ad icon; it will be interesting to see how this impacts the 36% who are unaware.

Ad extensions – which have been around for a while now – is another feature Google introduced to help their ads look a lot more clickable than the organic listings.

Cobb Digital offer £100 worth of free Adwords to any business looking to add PPC to its marketing mix. Get in touch with us at for more information.