Does Google Adwords Help With SEO? The Real Answer.

Let’s say you run an ad on Google Adwords and get 1,000 clicks to your website from it. Will those same clicks help with that same website’s SEO? Will it’s organic rankings rise? 

does google adwords help with seo

The most direct answer is…NO. But there is more to this whole topic than you think.

Because while on the front end, using PPC networks such as Google Adwords to get clicks has no impact on organic rankings…

There are actually a few things you can do with that same paid traffic on the back end to get an SEO boost. 

How is that possible? Well let me explain from the beginning…

In order to get to the part where you CAN use PPC traffic to improve SEO rankings, you first need to understand how Google works in this whole regard…

The fact of the matter is that Google is designed to distinguish what kind of traffic your website gets.

If it’s paid traffic, the value of that click or visitor towards organic rankings is 0. Why?

Well because if it had value, then anyone could just pay to get high rankings and the ranking system Google has evolved to today would become irrelevant.

If it’s organic traffic (such as if someone found that page through searching it up on Google), then there’s a whole different set of parameters in play.

Here’s an example. When it comes to Adwords, this is what Google looks for:

-It looks at your ad (how relevant is it to the page you’re going to link it to?).

-It looks at your ad text (how relevant is the ad text to the title and page?).

-It looks at your overall page to determine how relevant it is to the ad. 

-It looks at the list of keywords you use for the ad (Are they relevant to the ad, the page? Are they broad, exact or phrase?).

And as a result, it comes up with what is known as…a quality score, which is on a 1-10 scale.

Yet even if you get every single piece of this right, no clicks that you accumulate from running this type of ad will positively (or negatively) impact your site organically. 

Now when it comes to SEO, here is what Google looks for:

whats good for seo

Now a lot of this sounds the same as it does in the Adwords part, but it’s still a whole different department. And by the way, even if you get and do everything right for SEO, then hop onto Adwords and try to set up an ad, having good SEO history will not impact how Adwords looks at your site, it’ll just have to go through the other department I talked about above.

But again, there’s a separation in classification here because they don’t want abuse happening. And that is actually is how it should be. 

Ok, so how can we use Adwords (PPC) to help improve our SEO?

So there’s a “backdoor” list of things you can do to make this actually work. While again, getting clicks from PPC has no impact on organic rankings (directly), that same PPC traffic can actually do stuff on your site that would later provide a positive effect on organic rankings.

Here’s 3 examples:

1) A person clicks on your site through a PPC you created.

They then bookmark the page and return to it at a later time and continue reading and enjoying the site. Now that same visitor no longer counts as a PPC visitor and whatever positive things they do on the site will help the site’s organic rankings improve.

2) Suppose you received a 1,000 clicks to your PPC ad…

And collected an email list of 500 people out of it. Then you use that list and link them back to your content you put up on the site.

Again, this is an example of a person/people coming in as a 0 value organic visit, but then returning through another method (email linking) and then doing positive things to help the organic rankings improve. In this example, it would be a good backlink with a lot of link equity potential.

3) Suppose a PPC visitor came to the site, enjoyed the content, and then shared it with a friend/s…

Via email or social media. Then people who would look at that link, click it and have a positive experience on your site would also help it’s SEO improve.

However, this one varies. Whether it’s a social like or just a form of sharing, what the end users do with those links is what determines if it’ll have a positive outcome. 

Basically if someone shares my link with 1,000 friends, but none of those friends of theirs actually read my content or click on the link, then it’s value is 0 and thus I would get no organic ranking benefit out of it.

But if those 1,000 friends or a large portion of them did click the link and enjoyed the content, then it would help the SEO of the site. Learn more here

The core thing going on in all these circumstances:

The central thing going on is what happens if the initial (0 SEO value) PPC visitor comes back or brings back other people (through sharing the site) and so long as that action brings back the PPC visitor and others, and as long as those people do positive things on your website, it will then have weight on it’s organic rankings.

By positive things, I’m basically talking about comments, more shares, long stay times, bookmarks, more returns, things which are basically important ranking factors ect…

It really all comes down to this:

  • As long as it’s not a PPC visit.
  • And as long as there’s actions being taken by the visitor that show the website is of high value…

Then there’s organic points being given to the site.

Now the thing about this whole subject is that it’s easy to get carried away and try to spend some PPC cash on ads to try and get away with this stuff, but I would not spend your money on this.

PPC ads in general are set up to convert visitors almost immediately and if that isn’t your goal as an advertiser, you probably shouldn’t be engaging in it, since it’ll cost you a lot. Plus add to this whole thing that Google Adwords doesn’t exactly approve every single ad/website you try to run through it and you have a difficult plan to get away with.

This isn’t to say you can’t do it though.

If you have the experience and the ad money to spend, it’s worth a try, but like I said, with PPC traffic your aim is to get traffic to convert, buy or opt in immediately.

But this is a website that’s made to talk about organic rankings, not PPC. If you have questions on PPC, you’re very welcome to ask them. I’ve used it for years.

6 thoughts on “Does Google Adwords Help With SEO? The Real Answer.”

  1. Great post, I have wondered about this exact topic and this clarifies it a bit for me. I felt that this was the case since Google is the driver behind the clicks so they wouldn’t consider it a gain for SEO in my opinion. I think that the additional benefits that you mentioned like social shares and second clicks from a book mark are great information.

    My question is, when a user clicks on your PPC ad then goes to that URL and once there clicks on an internal link in the post or navigates to an additional page other than what they landed on and hangs out for a while on a different article, which should improve the time on site metric, would that help with SEO?

    I learned something here, great information

    Thanks for this

    Todd

    Reply
    • Hi Todd, I am giving you my guess here, but my logic with SEO tells me the answer to you question is no. It doesn’t make sense that a visitor which clicks an ad, then browses around your site should give the site an SEO boost and the reason why is because the IP address is recorded as occurring from an ad click, thus removing the SEO value from it. 

      But like I said (and you confirmed), if the visitor comes back (not via an ad), then it’ll have an organic benefit. My guess though is that it won’t be as much as if the person found your site on Google, but it’ll still hold more value than the PPC click.

      Reply
  2. Great article Vitaliy,

    I have always said the answer is a resounding YES! because traffic is a factor taken into consideration by the constantly evolving google algorithm.

    But,

    It is not a major factor out of the 200 or so elements in that algorithm. I have always said paid traffic helps, but in that very indirect way because that visitor may return – even if by means of organic search or typing in the address of the website, it is still a returning visitor (also a factor for ranking).

    A site benefits in many different ways from paid traffic and not just email signups or an increase in social following or even sales but in something far more valuable – Brand recognition and familiarity.

    Reply
    • It’s true that there’s 100’s of ways Google looks at content and how to rank it Derek, but we don’t know all of them obviously, what I can tell you is that what you said about brand recognition towards the end, I fully agree with.

      Reply
  3. Hey thanks for this awesome info! I was wondering this myself the other day and wasn’t sure. It is always good to know how anything can impact your traffic, let alone ads!

    I thought about running an ad just to my homepage, just to get subscribers if they were interested. That seemed to work to a point. Thanks for the amazing information and I look forward to reading more!

    Thanks,

    Tim

    Reply
    • You can do this, but if you run a website that has affiliate links, I would avoid doing what you’re doing (getting subscribers via ads), through adwords, use something like Bing ads instead.

      Reply

Leave a Comment