“When you use google Search to find a suitable Web Designer, should you trust the paid Adverts Google serves you?”
We’d say the short answer is no. To understand why we’ve come to this conclusion, you need to understand the main reason people choose to pay for Google Ads.
When you make any search via Google, the first four or five results you’ll be presented with, will be paid advertisements.
The results below these ads are called the ‘organic’ listings. These are the actual, genuine results of your search – not the ads.
Those on the organic list will have ‘earned’ their place in the results, and importantly, they will not have paid anyone to be there.
Most often, organisations pay Google to appear on the results list via ads, because they haven’t earned the right to be listed organically. It’s effectively paying to jump the queue.
How The Organic Listing Works
The algorithm Google uses to determine who appears on the organic list utilises a whole variety of attributes. One of the most important is how many other websites link to the website listed. This suggests to Google that the website contains valuable information, and is why others sites are referencing it. Another important attribute is how long the listed website has existed.
These attributes are similar to traditional, ‘real world’ circumstances, where an organisation builds a authoritative reputation over time and by consensus. This is why generally, we feel the organisations found on Google’s organic listing deserve your attention, rather than those paying to be there.
Google Ads – Websites That Are Somewhat Misleading
In doing our own research on search results for our own sector, we often find paid Google ads listings that link to websites that attempt to mislead potential customers.
The most common example is websites that include a ‘portfolio’ of websites they claim to have designed. But they aren’t real, active websites at all. What they are in fact, are just screenshot images of other designer’s website templates. When zoomed in, these screenshots show dummy text and content the template designer has added just as a generic example. When looking at website portfolios, you should always make sure there are links to the actual websites they claim exist on the web.
Other websites try to target the UK market by buying .co.uk domains and explicitly claiming they’re UK based, when they’re not. This is often just a means for out-sourcing companies, working elsewhere in the world, to obtain valuable UK customers.
Websites using these and other tactics, would never be able to obtain a respectable position on any organic listing, so they have no option but to pay Google to get listed at all.
Are You Being Served?
There are times when it makes perfect sense for a organisation to use Google Ads. If they want to showcase a new product, a new service or to highlight a special offer. But these use cases are very similar to traditional advertising.
When you use Google Search, maybe Google Ads works well for Google and the organisations paying them to jump the queue – we’re not so sure however, it serves you particularly well?