“I Never Click on Google Ads” and Other Marketing Myths

Anyone who has sold television advertising has run into this objection when presenting the schedule: “I never watch that show”. The client, of course, believes that if he or she never watches it, then nobody watches it.

Now that our business has expanded into the online arena, there’s a new variation on the theme: “I never click on the ads”. If your company offers paid search/SEM services, a couple of articles in the EConsultancy Blog will give you some interesting ammunition.

EConsultancy recently reported on tests conducted by the UK firm Bunnyfoot. Among the results:

  •  “When asked, 36% of users did not realise Google adwords were ads (a small change from 40% in 2012)
  • When asked, 27% of users did not realise that Google had any advertising.”


Guy who's never seen a Google ad

Photo by Thomas Leuthard


In a subsequent post, EConsultancy’s Dan Barker had this observation:

“Google made $10.469bn in revenue from ads on its own sites alone in the first three months of 2014. This means that – assuming all is equal and that 36% of that cash was the result of people clicking without recognising ads – the vague implication here is that Google generated $3.768bn from users who had no idea they were being advertised to in the first place. Quite a scary thought.”

This inspired EConsultancy to run its own studies of 2000 UK Internet users. Below is the chart they published (click on the chart to go to the full article, which goes into much more detail on how the surveys were done and breaks things down by age group).

Advertising clicks on Google search

Click on the chart to see the full EConsultancy article

Slightly more than a quarter of the respondents claim they’ve never clicked on a Google Search ad. The remaining 74% either admitted to clicking on them at least some of the time, or thought they’d never seen one (which could mean they are clicking on ads without realizing it).

$10.4 billion doesn’t lie. Somebody’s clicking on search advertising. Where do you want those clicks to go?


Sign up for my blog updates and never miss a post. I'll send you the first two chapters of my new book, Breakthrough Prospecting, as a thank-you.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Your Chance to Be Heard -- Comment Here!