Will Buying Google PPC Ads Boost Your Organic Search Rankings?

Editor note: “Ask an SEO” is a monthly column by technical SEO expert Jenny Halasz. Come up with your hardest SEO question and fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!

Today’s question is from Cindy of Singapore:

Will investing in Google PPC campaigns help boost my organic rankings in Google search results? Recently, we have done a homepage revamp across worldwide and the digital consultants from headquarters had recommended that we invest in Google PPC campaigns to help make up for the loss of SEO during revamp or beef up the rankings. I have attended talks and read SEO articles which gave me a mixed advice of yes and no. What do you think?

No. Investing in PPC will not directly impact your SEO performance.

PPC should be looked at as any marketing campaign — an opportunity to drive additional qualified traffic to your site. It’s a great opportunity to make up for a short-term drop in SEO traffic, but I have to be a bit blunt here and say that if your digital consultants caused your SEO to drop as a result of a redesign, maybe you need new digital consultants.

While a significant redesign can sometimes result in a short-term (i.e., 2-4 weeks maximum) drop in SEO performance, it should rebound quickly. If it does not, SEO wasn’t factored into the new design well. If anything, a redesign should be an opportunity to improve SEO.

PPC can sometimes have an indirect impact on SEO. A well-done branding campaign that increases awareness of a company or a new product can result in articles or other forms of press being written about your company or product. This can result in some new links, which can help SEO.

Increased “buzz” around your site can also result in new links. This is what helps SEO.

There’s a myth that advertising in PPC can help Google find a site faster. This is false. The crawler that evaluates landing pages for PPC is separate from the crawler that evaluates pages for SEO.

I think this myth perpetuates itself because when companies start a PPC campaign, the landing page optimization rules (keyword in title and header, relevance to keyword being bid on, etc.) are the same things that help SEO. Therefore Google suddenly “sees” a page they ignored before, and people think it’s because they advertised. But this has been proven false with numerous experiments.

Also, Google denied this in 2014 and has never reversed that position.

If you’re reading articles by anyone who says this is a thing without backing that assertion up with a statistically significant study (doesn’t exist), add them to your list of people to ignore!

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Featured Image: Paulo Bobita