Just half of survey respondents said they had spotted the ads in search results, even though more than four-fifths of queries return at least one advertisement.
The full extent of people’s confusion over search engine results is reflected in this video:
So, what should online marketers take from these stats?
This is by no means the death of search engine optimization.
The days of link spamming seem to be numbered, though, and emerging tactics seem to have strong similarities to traditional marketing and PR.
It would be naive to imagine Google’s efforts to increase its ad revenue are not presenting huge challenges to companies reliant on organic traffic.
However, it’s not just a case of liking it or lumping it for marketers; there are steps you can take to mitigate the impact that advertisements can have on your traffic levels.