57.4% of people don’t know which links are paid ads | Varn


13 August 2020

57.4% of people don’t know which links on Google are paid ads

Read our latest 2022 Google Ads Research >> click here

In our latest survey, just over 57% of users claimed that they didn’t know which links within the Google search results pages were paid ads. Whilst this may seem disheartening for advertisers, what is a positive sign is that out of those who do recognise ads on Google, more seem to be opting to click on the ads rather than ignoring them.

This could be a sign that Google, and indeed businesses, are getting Google Ads right and are offering users ads that are meeting their requirements.

In July 2019, we found that 6.9% of users who recognised ads on Google chose to click on them, whereas in our latest survey this has risen to 7.8% with those aged 25-34 being the most likely to click on ads. In our latest survey, we also found that those aged 18-24 are interestingly the least likely of all the age group to click on ads, which could suggest a lack of trust of any sponsored results.

Overall though, the trust of ads seems to be increasing over the years with 1.3% more users choosing to click on ads than in 2018. This may suggest that people are beginning to understand that Google and other search engines offer ads as a way to connect relevant businesses to potential customers, rather than just forcing products and services infront of us.

The relatively high number of people who do not recognise Google Ads in their searches is perhaps to be expected. Google is often testing the look and placements of the ads which can make it difficult to keep up. Google has changed its ad design consistently over the last 7 years.





Has Coronavirus impacted results?

While COVID-19 doesn’t seem to have had a huge impact on the survey, more users have been present online over the past 6 months, and so this may have had an impact on what users have been searching for and how relevant they have found the results for their queries.

Ads for in demand products and well-known brands are likely to have performed well, as users already feel a certain sentiment towards certain brands which they would usually visit in store.

What has changed is how people are accessing businesses, and how they are interacting with them. Both businesses and consumers have had to find new ways of connecting with eachother, and so this has led to increased need for bricks and mortar businesses to offer good experiences online.

To really enable consumers to trust ads, companies must be following through and providing high-quality landing pages and offering the products and services that match the needs and the search queries of customers almost exactly.

For more information on pay-per-click marketing, or to find out more about how to improve your organic rankings, get in touch with the team at Varn today.

Article by: Tom, Managing Director of Varn Digital Marketing More articles by Tom

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