Are Top Spots Just Curiosity Clicks?

One of the most common paid search myths we hear surrounds the number one position in the listings, often presented as: “If our ad isn’t in the top spot, it’s just not worth it.” If you delve deep enough into the array of PPC blogs and forums available online you’ll be sure to find more than one opinion on this subject. Some say that most users click on the top ads without even reading them, whilst the lure of Site Links causes others to heavily support these spots in the search marketplace.

One of the most common paid search myths we hear surrounds the number one position in the listings, often presented as: "If our ad isn't in the top spot, it's just not worth it." If you delve deep enough into the array of PPC blogs and forums available online you'll be sure to find more than one opinion on this subject.

Some say that most users click on the top ads without even reading them, whilst the lure of Site Links causes others to heavily support these spots in the search marketplace.

Here at Equator, we always recommend putting it to the test. For us, it's not a simple matter of 'top spots = bad, lower spots = good' (or vice versa), there's a whole lot more to think about, like:

  • What effect do the positions have for each keyword? - What's our PPC position strategy relative to the Organic listings? - How do the users in each marketplace behave?

Analysing the results of such tests has always been a little challenging due to the fluidity of positions, but in July, Google made this a little easier with the introduction of 'top vs. side' segmentation. This report provides concrete information on all the usual metrics split out by 'top' and 'side' - impressions, clicks, CTR, CPCs (and conversions if you want). Ultimately, it lets you see where your ad was and what effect this had. Nice.