May 30th, 2018

Does PPC Affect Your Organic Rankings?

Author: Eric Lynch
Eric Lynch
Partner & Director of Business Development

It’s the year 2018. Google has been doing search for nearly 20 years at this point. They’ve been selling ads almost the entire time. There’s been a conspiracy theory that buying Adwords will increase your organic rankings for virtually the entire time. I’ll repeat it as it’s been repeated before, buying Adwords doesn’t affect your rankings.

However, it has affects in other ways that can impact your rankings. It’s the confusion between causation an correlative impacts that create these kinds of myths. But there is some truth to the conspiracy, but it’s not what people think. Here are some ways that it does impact your website’s traffic that’s not directly related to paid clicks.

Paid Impacts Organic CTR

There’s a degree to which seeing something over and over again gives you a sense of comfort. We’re human, we like patterns. The same goes for search results. If you’re searching for something, and you see that a company may have a search ad up top, a map listing, and then you see their organic result, you are more likely to click on that organic listing.

To the searcher the repetition of seeing your company means you have established yourself as an authority in what they’re searching for. Therefore you’re the company they want to work with.

People Who See Your Ads Convert More Often

Continuing down the path of brand reinforcement, there’s no better place to see that than in retargeting ads. It’s been shown that retargeting increases your conversion rates. Just like the repetition of seeing your search results come up multiple times, seeing your retargeting ads continues to reinforce visitors that your brand is strong.

That brand reinforcement leads to higher conversion rates. So while you paid for the ad, it wasn’t the entry point for the conversion.

Ads Can Help You Optimize Your Pages

Bad page scores in Adwords can make those search terms more expensive. If a specific phrase is what you want the page to do well for, you’ll make changes to it. This has an organic rankings effect as well. Since in Adwords, Google does a better job of telling you what they want to see, you can make the same changes and have the same positive effect in organic rankings at the same time.


While there’s no direct correlation between what you spend on Adwords and your organic rankings, there are ways that Adwords can help you drive more organic traffic to your website. There’s also one soft benefit, and that is you know the value of your traffic. If a click costs one dollar, and you drive 1,000 people to your website by organic every month, your organic value of the website is $1,000.

The other thing Adwords gives us is insight into traffic volumes of a keyword. The keyword planner can help you decide which keywords to target on your page for optimal traffic growth. So the answer to does PPC affect your organic rankings is simply, yes, if you use it in the right way.

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