Do Half of All Adults Really Not Differentiate Paid Ads?


A recent report compiled by Ofcom suggests that when using Google’s search engine, 50% of adults were unable to differentiate between their actual search results and the paid advertisement links shown at the top of the page.

Do Half of All Adults Really Not Differentiate Paid Ads

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It would appear that, despite the yellow ‘Ad’ symbol beneath every advertised link at the top of the search results, only 49% of those participating in the ‘Adults’ media use and attitudes’ report correctly identified that the results appeared simply because advertisers had paid for them to do so.

Advert Disclosure

Until just a couple of years ago, the yellow ‘Ad’ symbol seen beneath the paid links on Google searches did not exist; adverts were either highlighted by a small, coloured box around the words, or with a small exclamation logo letting the user know that the link was sponsored. Since then Google has experimented with various PPC links, frequently modifying the ways in which they are displayed, from changing the format of the webpage to having adverts on the right hand side of the page, to briefly changing the ‘Ad’ box to a shade of green. Whilst some argue these have been techniques to hide the nature of the paid links from the user, others argue that this would detract from the customer’s overall journey, and that this would not benefit Google in the slightest.

How Does it Benefit Google?

Google makes its money from promoting these advert links. These ads have been the topic of many debates over the years, however Pay Per Click marketing is something which benefits both Google, and the various companies willing and able to auction for their websites to be promoted by the popular search engine.

What Can Other Companies Do?

There are companies working to ensure their client’s website tops the organic links list. Companies such as – an SEO Agency in Dublin – act as ecommerce development companies and provide SEO services to smaller companies wanting their websites to be found on the first few search pages.

Through use of various clever marketing techniques, SEO professionals ensure that certain key words, when searched for through Google, will trigger the client’s webpage organically, without the need to pay a small fortune in order to auction for one of those Ads!

Written by suNCh8

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