Difference Between Search Ads & Organic Listings

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There have been many claims and studies that say searchers have a hard time telling the difference between the paid search ads and the free organic listings. Google’s Paul Haahr said on Twitter that those claims are “not true from everything I’ve seen, at least from the Search side.”

The topic came up when David Jolly, a journalist who writes at the NY Times posted on Twitter “When you search on Google, the first four search results what you see before having to scroll down are all paid advertisements. Most people don’t understand that.” He linked to this story on Medium.

Google has said before that while there can be up to four ads above the organic listings, the vast majority of search results do not have any ads at all.

Then someone points out that studies have shown that searchers can’t tell the difference between paid and organic search results.

Paul Haahr said that is also not true, he said “but not true from everything I’ve seen, at least from the Search side..”

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