55% don’t recognise paid ads in Google SERPS: stats

55% don’t recognise paid ads in Google SERPS: stats

August 11, 2016 2:06 pm

fifty five% of searchers don’t know which hyperlinks within the SERPs are PPC advertisements, in line with a brand new survey. 

I coated this matter again in April, utilizing knowledge from an Ofcom report which discovered that as much as 50% of customers proven a SERP screenshot couldn't determine paid advertisements.

The article additionally talked about knowledge from Varn, which discovered that, of the B,010 Uk web customers who have been requested the query under,  50.S% couldn’t determine which hyperlinks have been advertisements:


The survey above got here from February this yr, however there have been a number of modifications to the SERPs since then, so Varn repeated the survey.

And, the brand new one discovered that nearly fifty five% now don’t know which hyperlinks are paid advertisements and that are natural.


The outcomes are additionally cut up by age, with the overall development being that, the youthful you're, the extra doubtless it's that you simply’ll spot the advertisements, although virtually 50% of 25 to 34s nonetheless aren’t seeing advertisements.

Ages (1)

As earlier than, the outcomes can appear shocking if you take a look at a typical search outcomes web page, and the outcomes labelled as advertisements.

Then once more, maybe I’m not in one of the best place to guage, as somebody who appears at search outcomes on a regular basis, and is nicely conscious of paid search advertisements.


Since the primary survey, H% extra individuals are unable to recognise advertisements, so is that this simply concerning the margin of error, or have Google’s current modifications made advertisements much less advert-like?

The first of the modifications was the removing of proper hand aspect advertisements, which means that each one paid advertisements seem in an inventory with natural outcomes.

This is what they used to seem like, simply in case you want a reminder:

london hotel Google Search with right hand side ads

Then we had the change of labels, from the yellow advert labels you see above, to inexperienced advert labels that are, in fact, the identical color because the URLs.

The purpose for the change to the inexperienced color is unclear, however the advert textual content now blends in additional simply with the inexperienced textual content displaying the URL, thus making it look much less like an advert.

This appears to be a continuation of Google’s modifications to advert labelling. This visible from Ginny Marvin on SEL illustrates the purpose brilliantly.


While they was shaded to differentiate them from natural outcomes, advertisements now look much less like advertisements then ever. Of course, the textual content is a clue, nevertheless it does appear that round 50% of customers merely aren’t noticing that label.

Varn additionally requested about individuals’s attitudes to advertisements, discovering that almost all see them as a nuisance:

How do you feel about paid adverts online. (1)

In abstract

None of the surveys asking about advert recognition in SERPs are good.

If you present individuals footage of SERPs or conduct consumer exams, then pattern sizes are small, however for those who ask, the reply is usually revealed within the wording of the query.

However, the development is obvious. Whatever the precise determine, plainly round half of net customers merely aren’t distinguishing paid outcomes from natural ones.

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