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Google Ads and organic rankings

It’s a phenomenon that’s probably a bit surprising when you first hear about it: when paying for Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords), you may just notice your organic rankings going up as well. This may not immediately make sense to you. After all, why would Google give you a ‘free boost’ or anything like that?

Truth is, investing in Google Ads won’t directly affect your organic rankings. But that doesn’t mean it’s just a coincidence if you notice your organic rankings and/or traffic improve afterward. So, what’s going on then? What’s the correlation here?

Mathias was wondering the same thing, and sent us this question:

Since we started paying Google Ads [AdWords] for main keywords, we’ve also doubled organic traffic, mostly with related other keywords (and sites). Does advertising with Google Ads [AdWords] affect organic SERPs? Or do you see any indication for a correlation between paid and organic traffic?

Watch the video or read the transcript for the answer!

Google Ads and organic rankings

“This is a much-debated topic in the SEO world. The thing is, that as your overall site engagement increases, your site usually does better in search as well. It doesn’t matter whether that increase in site engagement comes from Ads [AdWords] traffic, Facebook traffic, or anywhere else. If you get more traffic to your site, more people search for your brand, and are talking about you online, you will do better in the search. It’s that simple.

So, it doesn’t relate directly to you paying for Ads [AdWords], it relates to you having more website traffic overall, and to people talking more about your brand. It works like that. And yes, that makes it worth even more, I guess. Good luck.”

Read more: SEO basics: What does Google do? »

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11 Responses to Google Ads and organic rankings

  1. Muzammil malik
    Muzammil malik  • 6 years ago

    Hi Willemien Hallebeek I agree with your post
    Yoast is my favourite plugin it is very easy to use and apply,

  2. Anandfilms
    Anandfilms  • 6 years ago

    I love Yoast plugin, and I am using this plugin. Yoast is a very simple and easily understandable.
    Your post is important and unique. thank you for sharing this post.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Thanks for your lovely comment!

  3. Luis Alberto Cabrera Huerta
    Luis Alberto Cabrera Huerta  • 6 years ago

    Hi guys.
    This is Luis Cabrera from Mexico.

    I´ve been working on my blog for 5 years now.

    Never pay for visitors. Yes, 100% organic traffic.

    All this time I´ve been working with (basic) Yoast SEO Plugin.

    The last 30/40 days I have notice my blog is getting half visitors? That´s from 1K to 500 (daily).

    Three weeks ago I moved from http to https and from BlueHost to DigitalServer but as far as I know organic traffic was already half by then.

    Honestly don´t know why…

    Can you give me your opinion/advice?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Hi Luis, We’re sorry to hear about your traffic drop. It’s hard to tell from your information what could be the cause. It is a bit general perhaps, but it seemed to have happened around Google’s Medic update? So perhaps it’s related to that? Joost shares more about that update in his post here:

  4. Hari
    Hari  • 6 years ago

    I agree with your answer, I also have very similar experience, when I used google ads, then about a month or two my organic traffic is also becoming better,

    I thought it was because the ads,

    then I figured it out that it wasn’t because directly related to the ads it self,

    but rather…
    from the engagements, more traffic. more shares etc.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Hi Hari, Yep, that makes sense, right?

  5. DJI
    DJI  • 6 years ago

    Hi !

    I recently migrated from AIOSEO to Yoast.
    The migration was successful but while reviewing yoast i see that all my post are missing focus keyword. I have 2500+ posts.

    Why did the keywords failed to migrate to yoast?
    How am i now going to add focus keywords in so many posts ? Will i lose my SE rankings ? Please shed some light on how to accomplish this as all the posts are listed under red bullet on my dashboard.


    • Benneth Azike
      Benneth Azike  • 6 years ago

      I personally don’t think you would loose your se ranking and here is why I think so.
      If you had previously optimized those pages for keywords you want to rank for before making the switch to yoast, then you shouldn’t loose SE RANKING because search engines will still crawl your pages and they will notice the keywords those pages were optimized for. So don’t border when yoast reports that those posts doesn’t have Focus Keyword.
      Also you could easily set Focus Keywords for those articles with the help of the “INSIGHT” report on yoast, you do that by opening each pages of your article and viewing the INSIGHT report on yoast you should be able to see what Keyword you optimized the page for.

      • Willemien Hallebeek
        Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

        Thanks for your answer, Benneth. Like you’ve said, loosing the focus keywords shouldn’t influence how search engines see your pages, DJI. It’s just a tool for you to see if you’ve used the keywords in the right places!

  6. Presh Arthur
    Presh Arthur  • 6 years ago

    Is not all google ads boost ranking but all google ads based on keyword research boost ranking, let me explain briefly.

    Keyword 1 – How To Make Money Online As A Student In 2019

    Keyword 2 – Mesothelioma Firm And What They Really Do

    If you can actually do keyword research and also if for example keyword 1 is having a good search volume and easy to rank than keyword 2. Then if i post a content about keyword 1 on my blog and go for google ads, i still need to get rank by some keyword suggestion by putting the keywords on google ads boost setup and with that i will rank for those keywords than keyword 2 because keyword 2 is a diffocult to rank and i need to spend much money so as to rank for it.

    I dont know if you may understand my point but if you dont please kindly quote me.

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