2012 Search Ads Pause Experiments
In 2011, Google released a study called “Search Ads Pause” that showed the amount of search ad traffic that is incremental to traffic from an advertiser’s organic search results. On average, we found that 89% of paid traffic to an advertiser’s site is lost and not recovered by organic clicks when paid search ads were paused. This number - what we call the Incremental Ad Clicks (IAC) - was consistent across all verticals.
In that initial study, we only examined cases where ads were completely paused. In this update, we looked at three additional change scenarios and included new cases up to August 2011, giving a total of more than 5,300 cases. We learned new insights into different scenarios, including:
- Decrease search ad spend to zero (paused): 85% IAC
- Decrease search ad spend, but not to zero: 80% IAC
- Increase search ad spend, from a zero base: 79% IAC
- Increase search ad spend, from a non-zero base: 78% IAC