Q and A: Can running a PPC Campaign affect my Organic Rankings?


Dear Kalena…

I was wondering if you have an active ppc program if this hurts you in natural search optimization since your paying for keyword placement. Why would Google/Yahoo rank you high if your already paying them lots of money. I tested this by pausing my Yahoo ad for 1 month and sure enough my keywords are all on front page when beforehand they were are pages 3-5. Too nervous to do with Google since we spend a lot per month.


Hi Billy,

This is a topic which has been much debated over the years, but the short answer is No, running a PPC Campaign will have no “direct” impact on your rankings.

People have speculated that using PPC might improve your rankings (as a reward by the search engine) or – as you’ve have suggested – decrease your rankings (presumably to encourage people to click on the ads).

It should be very easy to test, and many people have tried to prove it one way or the other – but I am unaware of any conclusive proof.  Even though your test seems to suggest a correlation between your PPC and organic rankings, you only appear to have done a part of the test.  In order to prove the correlation you would need to turn on and off your PPC campaign over an extended period and track this against changes in your rankings.

In my opening sentence above, I emphasized that there is no “direct” effect, because running an aggressive  PPC campaign could in fact have an indirect impact on your organic rankings – in a couple of different ways :

  1. By running PPC you will get extra traffic in a shorter amount of time, and the data that this generates can help you to tweak and improve factors that can influence your organic rankings.  For example, through using a broad range of keyword phrases on your campaigns – and by looking at the impressions you get, you will get an idea of which phrases are being searched most often.  You should also be able to determine which keywords are converting better.  By focusing your optimisation efforts on high volume and higher converting phrases, you will boost your rankings and your sales or enquiries.
  2. Running PPC will also raise the visibility of your brand and your site. You will be getting extra visitors – and if they like what they see they are likely to link to your site.  This in itself will also improve your organic rankings.

Andy Henderson
Ireckon Web Marketing

Q and A: Review my site, Perth Florist

QuestionDear Kalena…

I was just wondering if you would have time to look at my site and give me any ideas of how I could improve it from a customer landing on the site for the first time. I seem to be getting good traffic but conversions are just average at best. Any ideas would be appreciated.


Dear John,

There could be lots of factors that result in lower than desired conversion rates. It’s possible that your expectations are too high. If you are only servicing one local community, you have to assume that a lot of your traffic may be coming to your site only to find out that you do not service their area. However, I never like to tell my clients that their expectations are too high, although that is sometimes the case.

The design and professional appearance of your site is terrific. It’s easy to navigate, has all of the important information, and even does a good job at up-selling the customer. One thing I noticed rather quickly is that you do not mention any of the benefits of your flower shop over any others in the Perth area. When someone lands on your site (according to statistics) most people look at the top left of the screen. I would try adding a big button above your left navigation that says something like “Same Day Delivery” or “Guaranteed Freshest Flowers in Perth”, or whatever. Just make sure it’s a benefit that keeps them on the page. Since most of your internet business is deliveries, you might want to feature more information about that on your homepage. In fact, wouldn’t it be really cool to have a little call-out on your site that displays every day up to 11am (your same-day delivery cut-off) that says “It’s not to late to have your flowers delivered today!”? I am sure you can do that with a little PHP code.

One feature of another florist I have used, which I think is nice, is a flexible pricing option. I noticed that some of your flowers have different sizes and different prices. Why not feature this on the category page instead of just the product page? When a user browses all of your flowers you should have a buttons that shows them that they can buy this plant for $12, $24 or $48…. you get the idea. It’s just really nice to know that if they like a specific arrangement, they don’t have to spend $75. Check out this site to see what I am talking about.

You may want to also add a search box on your site. Not only does this help your customer find what they are looking for, but it also gives you invaluable intelligence about what your customers want! Google Analytics has a great feature that allows you to read a log of whatever people are typing in your search box. It provides great information for e-retailers.

Lastly, your site analytics could help you to find out where all of your traffic is going. For example, if you find that 90% of your traffic is entering your site through your index page and that you have a high bounce rate (users who click right off the site), or a very low “time on site”, you’ll know that your homepage may need to be optimized for sales. You may also want to determine what the most frequent exit page is. If you find that most people leave your site on the delivery information page, than perhaps you need to look at your delivery policies, or even your fees.

Again, your site looks very nice! Good luck, and thanks for the question!


Q and A: How do I report a competitor’s spamming to Google?

QuestionDear Kalena…

I have just started up an SEO company in Bangkok called Search Sense Thailand and have my first real break. Yesterday I got a new job to work on a real estate agent’s website, with a brief to get them onto the first page of Google for Bangkok Property.

But there’s one site, position #2, that has duplicated six websites, all linking to one another and using keyword spam on all their domain names. And I cannot compete with it! Why does Google weigh the domain name so heavily? Why does it allow duplicate content, from the same owner to dominate their search? This is just plain wrong. I would like some help on this, please. How can I get Google to take any notice?


Dear Pun,

Out of curiosity I checked Google and did a search for “Bangkok Property” and did not notice the issue you are stating above. This is not surprising, as Google often shows different results for different users.

However, to answer your question. If you would like to report spammy activity to Google you can use the link below. If I were you I would concentrate on all of the good whitehat tactics that you no-doubt employee, and try to beat him that way. By collecting good quality, relevant links, and filling the site with useful relevant content you can eventually beat him.


Best of luck, Nick Loeser