New research uncovers almost 60% of users do not recognise Google Ads

Original research from Varn and Adpilot: Most searchers (59.1%) still do not recognise it’s a Google Ad they are looking at. This is big news considering Google is constantly changing the formats of the ads and insist they are 'noticeable'. 

Do you recognise the Google ads within search results? If not then you are not alone. Recent research from Varn and Adpilot has uncovered that almost 60% of searchers do not recognise the ads in search results with organic listings. 

Fewer users are clicking on the ads that are aware of them 

The research from Varn has been running for a few years now, and interestingly the data shows that fewer people are clicking on ads out of the group that does recognise them.  This is big news, and the overall number of people who do not recognise the ads also shows that whilst Google claims its ads are easily distinguishable from organic search results, there are still plenty of people who are finding it hard to see the ads.  The breakdown below shows the change in format for Google Ads over the past 8 years. It is fair to say there have been some notable changes and the styling/formatting of the ‘ad’ tag seems to have gotten less obvious over time. 

Research in the context of Google Surfaces 

The research comes amidst a big change from Google in regards to the way its shopping results are formatted. Now organic listings appear on the rebranded ‘Google Surfaces’ which are attained through good SEO practices. These results show below the ads in a similar format to the standard search results.  Our article on Google Surfaces shows you how to increase your SEO efforts and as a result your chances of appearing in the new digital real estate. 

Does age influence the ads? 

The research also segmented the survey group by age to determine if this had any influence on whether or not people recognised the ads. Most of the data showed no statistically significant results with many not recognising the ads across different age groups. 

Get in touch to find out more about what the results mean

If you want to find out more about the research and what it means for the world of search marketing, the full research is available at the Varn website and do feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!