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Is SEO Dead Because of Multiple Ads in SERPs?

We all very well know that Google thrives because of organic results. If people stop indexing their websites in Google and move to another search engine, then soon it will run out of results to show to its users. And people at Google are smart enough to know that, which is why they will never let PPC kill the organic results in SERPs. That being said, for some searches, you might not see much increase in organic website traffic because of ads. Why is that? Let’s see:

Why do some Ads affect SEO?

There are two main reasons to why some searches have higher CTR for ads than organic results; let’s discuss them below.

Ads are getting similar to organic results.

From 2013 to 2019, we have seen the ‘Ad’ icon changing from yellow to green and to finally black with no colorful background highlighting that it is an ad. Many people miss the small black ‘Ad’ written on a PPC result and click on it.

This results in higher CTR for PPC ads, but that is for the cases where people miss the small ‘Ad’ sign, and instead of scrolling past it, they click on it.

Are You Ready to Get Loved by Google?

Exposure leads to conversion:

Another way PPC ads are affecting organic results is via conversions. If someone sees a brand name appearing at the top of ads, they will have that name positioned in their mind. Now when they scroll past the ads and see the organic search result for the same brand, what do you think will happen?

They are more likely to click on that search result because of the previous exposure to the brand, and they may convert. Now, although it will count as organic conversion, the process started from ads, and that is not good for other brands ranking for the same search results.

However…..Most of the time, SEO takes the cake:

Now that we have briefly discussed how ads are affecting SEO, you might stop searching ‘how to rank on Google search’ and instead go for PPC ads. But that will not be an entirely smart thing to do. The reason is that many search results don’t trigger ads; in fact, most of them don’t!
The majority of people are mostly interested in getting information about things rather than buying them in the first go. And businesses don’t capitalize on informational search results meaning there are no ads for such queries.

So, you can still increase organic website traffic by ranking on informational keywords, create a funnel in those posts, and lead the buyer to conversion through there.

So…What Do I Do As a Business?

All you really have to know is that every traffic channel serves a different purpose. Social media is more for engagement or audience development if you will. The best case scenario is to do both SEO and PPC! If you want to increase your brand exposure and convert as many buyers as you can, you need a solid SEO and PPC strategy.


According to Moz, Ads on some search queries get only 2-3% CTR while organic results get 47-57% of the clicks and, in some cases, Ads top organic results in clicks. What you could do is find out the search queries related to your industry where organic results get most of the clicks and rank on them. As for the ones where Ads get most of the pie, you also run ads too.


Parting Words:

So, in short, No, Search Engine Optimization is not being butchered by Ads. You can still crush it in the SERPS by ranking for carefully selected keywords. Nowadays, people are doing a lot of research before the actual purchase. They are looking to compare, gather more information, check out case studies and only then make up their mind. 

A good SEO agency can help you find the right traffic-generating keywords to rank for, analyze the
competition and make necessary changes to your content if need be. Plus, they can help you climb rankings in SERPs and increase organic website traffic.

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