Are Search Engine Ads Worth the Money You Are Paying?

The money spent on digital advertising continues to rise. Some of that money is being sunk into search engine ads. But are these paid search ads really worth the money? A recent study may surprise you.

Ebay was the medium used to conduct the study. Many businesses now sell their products on popular sites like Ebay, Amazon, and others. The study consisted of having a group of consumers that was exposed to ads from paid searches, and one that had the paid searches turned off. So did sales take a nose dive when consumers didn’t see any paid ads? Shockingly, the answer is no; they sold just as much as ever. The verdict? People will find your items either way. If they want your product, they will click on the link whether it is a paid ad or a free search result.

The issue is that very often, the same company will show up in both the paid and the generic ads for a certain search. Thus, even when the paid ads are turned off, sales do not change. Therefore, the company is paying for a service that isn’t making them any extra money. Why pay for an ad and then also be the top search result?

A second test was performed to ensure that the results were accurate and this experiment too showed the same conclusion. Of course, this study was only conducted within the confines of Ebay, but consider this: Why spend money to rank number one for certain keywords, and then also pay for an ad?

It seems that many people don’t even notice that the paid ads are gone when they are removed. Others just skip straight to the generic ads without paying attention to the paid ads. Whatever the case is, the results clearly show that it isn’t the paid ad that was making companies extra money on Ebay.

Of course, the variable that was left out of the study is this: What if your paid ad was replaced with a competitor’s? Would that affect your sales? Maybe companies are wisely paying for ads just to keep someone else from getting the spot.