Search Ads Drive 89% Incremental Traffic, Study Says

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. —  A recent Google study suggests that search engine advertising helps to boost the volume of organic traffic.

The study examined whether search ads cannibalize advertisers’ organic traffic and wanted to find out if search ads were paused, would clicks on organic results increase and make up for the loss in paid traffic?

Google researchers observed organic click volume in the absence of search ads. Then they built a statistical model to predict the click volume for given levels of ad spend using spend and organic impression volume as predictors.

These models generated estimates for the incremental clicks attributable to search ads (IAC), or in other words, the percentage of paid clicks that are not made up for by organic clicks when search ads are paused.

The study showed that paid search ads give a brand an 89 percent incremental shift in site visitors.

“This means that a full 89 percent of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused. This number was consistently high across verticals,” Google said.