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CASE STUDY: Google investigates the brand value of search listings

A recent research study of business technology buyers found that unaided brand awareness and brand perceptions of a global 500 business technology were significantly higher when the brand's listings were in prominent positions on a search engine results page - even when that brand's listings are not clicked on by the searcher.

Furthermore, the study suggested that so-called cannibalization1 of organic traffic by traffic from high-ranking paid ads may not be as significant a risk as commonly assumed.

This research should help search and brand advertising strategists alike in addressing important questions about search advertising and business technology buyers, including: Do business technology buyers read search ads? What is the value of a search impression? Are there branding benefits to occupying higher-ranked positions on the page (leaving aside the clicks a brand sees)? Are paid ads as credible as organic listings?