Google has always claimed that advertising on AdWords will NOT impact the natural search results of a website.
However, sometimes I get suspicious….
Like when I see a client of mine, who has been in business since 2003 being beaten out in the organic rankings by a newbie (business started October 2012) and that newbie is an AdWords advertiser.
Here are some of the stats I look at when doing competitive website analysis:
- Age of Site
- Number of Pages Indexed
- Number of incoming links (backlinks) reported – take this stat with a large grain of salt… it’s usually very under-reported.
- Social signals (Twitter mentions, FB likes, Google +1)
So, I did a little research using the SEOQuake Chrome Extension:
- Age, May 2004
- Pages Indexed: 29
- Backlinks: 4
- Social: Tw, 2; FB, NA, +1, 23 (note: FB stats do not appear to be correct, I know ASU has lots of likes)
- Age, May 2013
- Pages Indexed: 5
- Backlinks: NA
- Social: Tw, 10; FB, NA, +1, 0
At first glance, based on these stats there is no way that farmboy should be outranking AllSmokedUp. But wait! Although farmboy’s business was started in October 2012, the website has a start date of May 2013. That’s only 2 months ago. It looks like they may be experiencing what I have seen frequently with Google results… a brief “moment in the sun” of great rankings within about 2-3 months of a new site starting up. I believe it’s part of Google’s algorithm that “rewards” recency and “newness” for a brief period before the site sinks back into the abyss for 6-8 months and then levels out to its “proper” position in the natural search results.
Well, it looks like we’re in a “wait and see” period. I’m going to watch these results and see if my theory holds… that this is the “moment in the sun” for that new site and there isn’t a conspiracy to boost the natural search results of sites that advertise on Google AdWords.