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During a conversation, a private businessman raised a question regarding Google rankings dropping after buying PPC ads and then returning right after turning them off.
They asked what could be the reason for their rankings disappearing, then returning after stopping the Google Ads advertising. The person said their advertising had disappeared; then their rankings returned after stopping it.
This particular customer acknowledged that Google Ads is supposed not to influence organic results, so the question was really about what might have made a difference.
Then, Mueller talked about the difference between search and PPC and pointed out some possibilities for this kind of situation.
John Mueller said:
“So that’s something where these systems are completely separate on our side.
The ranking within the ads, the ranking within search are completely separate systems, and there’s essentially no real connection there.
I get this question sometimes like in this way; if I run ads, then my website disappears from search. But I also get the same question in the other way, like if people run ads, then suddenly their website ranks higher for search because they’re paying for something.
From our point of view, it’s like… we work really hard to differentiate ads and search. So much so that even when… large advertisers go to their ad manager or account manager and they have like this small search question… we push back on that, we don’t give any answers at all when it comes to questions from clients or partners.
… That’s something where I would definitely not expect any kind of ranking change, especially something as visible as that. Because that… I think that would also be something that lots of other sites would see and would be kind of a bit… super obvious.
So the ranking change that you… saw there seems like something that would be totally unrelated to the ads.”
Correlations to Ranking Changes
Many companies advertising on Google do not experience changes in rankings, particularly up or down, due to recent changes. Instead, the majority experience changes, whether they are positive or negative.
Several times in advertising, people have started to slide down the rankings without any real reason for doing so. And that’s what happened in this situation, where someone started advertising and then fell.
There is no doubt that it happened is just a coincidence since Google updates its search rankings continuously. It may sometimes seem like a major event, but the effects are often very subtle.