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Google: Position of PPC ads doesn't impact conversion

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Mountain View, Calif.—Advertisers worried about the position of their paid search ads on a Google search results page—and their ability to produce decent conversion rates—shouldn't be too concerned, according to a top Google economist.

Hal Varian, writing on Google's Inside AdWords blog this week, confirmed that the higher up a pay-per-click ad appears, the more clicks it tends to receive. However, he said, Google research revealed that ad position has minuscule impact on actual conversion.

Varian and his team used a statistical model to indicate that conversion rates of paid ads vary by less than 5% across a sample of 11 ads. “An ad that had a 1% conversion rate in the best position would have about a 0.95% conversion rate in the worst position, on average. ... The bottom line: Conversion rates don't vary much by position,” Varian said.

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