Why People Say They Never Click on Google Ads – and Why They’re Wrong

A handy infographic landed in the Loves Data inbox recently and we thought it was worth sharing, because it got us to thinking about the specific value of having a targeted AdWords campaign. One of the phrases that seems to crop up a lot in our initial conversations with clients is, “Does anyone ever click on the Google ads? Because I never do.”

The implied corollary is, of course, “If no one’s clicking on those ads, How can your AdWords team possibly bring me any extra business?”

Actually, the reality is that Google pulled in a staggering $32.2 billion just from their online ads in 2012 – so those ads that no one ever admits to clicking on are most definitely working to generate traffic. In fact, online ads make up 97% of Google’s revenue stream, and AdWords specifically pulls in 70%. Not a bad little earner, right?

But wait! If everyone says they avoid clicking on paid search results, where is all that revenue coming from? As it turns out, what’s happening is that even now, 45.5% of users still can’t differentiate between paid and organic search results.

Studies showed that this was true back in 2003, which feels about right considering Google had only been around for less than half a decade at the time, but it’s surprising to discover that it’s still the case.

People are still broadly unable to make the distinction between paid and unpaid search results, and that’s because Google’s ads work really, really well.

Effective AdWords campaigns precisely target the users they’re best matched to, and they offer an answer that the searcher can actually use, which works out to everyone’s advantage.

So when people think they’re clicking on organic search results, in fact they’re sending money into Google’s coffers. And that’s why it’s worth your while to talk to ensure your marketing team is putting together a great campaign that answers the need or question they've just typed in!

How Google Makes Its Money