There’s an interesting study done by Chitika – the online advertising and PPC marketing company. What they say is that the visitor coming to your site from search is more likely to click an ad than any other kind of visitor (including direct visitors, social media visitors, even people browsing your site internally).

Chitika goes on to present their own “indexed CTR” metric to show that visitors coming from Ask.com are the best converting ones, and that Google is on the other side of the spectrum, providing the worst converting visitors:

First of all, the “indexed CTR” metric is nothing to worry about. It’s not a real search engine advertising metric (not a real CTR), and it’s hard to even translate it into real CTR numbers. So what matters are not the values but the relation between individual bars (traffic sources).

Now, this doesn’t mean that Ask.com is great at generating ad clicks. What it actually means is that Ask.com is bad at building their search engine index and providing relevant results for the people searching.

When you think about it, what is the main reason why a person clicks on an ad listing? It’s only when the visitor doesn’t find what they are looking for on the page itself. So the more targeted the page is to the visitor’s intent, the less likely they’ll click any ads.

And we know that Google is good at that. They’ve been consistently good at providing well targeted results for whatever queries their users input. That is why Google’s score is low regarding the contextual ad CTR presented on the graph above. Also, this study doesn’t say a thing about complex affiliate ads – ads that don’t look like a standard contextual listing.

Even though the study in itself is an interesting thing, there is a possibility that it doesn’t cover a data sample that’s wide enough. For instance, Ask.com has only about 2% of the total search volume in the U.S. So even though they look kind of good in this study, their actual results are not that significant in the big scheme of things.

What to Do?

If your site is ranking for a large number of keywords then you should consider including some contextual ads just to capitalize on the visitors that come across your site without being that well targeted.

When it comes to the targeted folks, you have your affiliate promotions to offer them with, and it’s still the main thing you should focus on.


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