Google Research Study on Branding

Today Google Released a study finding regarding product branding and some insights into its study’s findings and the use of Adwords.

Google commissioned this study to measure the brand value of a search impression.


Typically, when we evaluate the ROI of search we give value to the click, but not to the impression. This study looks at how to begin to value a paid search impression. We found that when a CPG brand appears in search results there’s value for the brand. And when a competitor’s brand shows up in search results and your brand doesn’t, there’s a drop in impact for your brand.


We exposed category buyers in four CPG categories Beverage, Cosmetic, Household/Laundry and Food/Snack) to search results from a generic category search (e.g., drinks, makeup, snacks). We then surveyed respondents about the impact of the test brand that appeared in the results. Google commissioned this study to measure the brand value of a search impression.

Key Findings

There is a consistent lift across multiple brand measures when the test brand appears in paid search positions. This lift is particularly evident for unaided awareness and purchase intent.
A corresponding drop is apparent for competing brands in unaided awareness for three of the four product categories.


Brand presence anywhere in a SERP impacts key brand metrics among target consumers, even for established brands. You have greater control over your message with paid search, especially on a generic search term SERP.

Paid search as a branding vehicle drives top of mind awareness for your brand and negatively impacts awareness for your competitive set. Impressions provide a “free” brand lift, without the CPC investment.

Changes in brand measures denote a statistically significant difference in top-sponsored, side-sponsored, top-sponsored + organic, or side sponsored
+ organic positions against the Control at an 80% confidence level.
*Cosmetic category results for females 18-34 only.
Media Screen, April 2008.
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