dominates paid search ads on Google UK

Retail, travel and price comparison sites take top spots in UK paid search according to new study

London, February 28, 2013: is the site mostly likely to be seen in paid search ads on Google UK, as well as being the most visible online retail site in organic search results, according to new research.

The findings come from a study by search and social analytics software leader, Searchmetrics which has produced a list of the top 20 most visible paid search advertisers (see table underneath) on Google UK. The list is dominated by retail, price comparison and travel brands including, and, with taking the top position.

Top 20 most visible paid search advertisers on Google UK
Domain Average paid visibility score
1 408,544.71
2 172,309.45
3 121,443.82
4 85,961.57
5 78,296.92
6 60,021.29
7 59,900.10
8 56,989.61
9 53,630.00
10 50,494.27
11 49,476.14
12 47,896.35
13 40,819.57
14 39,561.94
15 38,764.41
16 38,066.84
17 37,390.22
18 35,147.41
19 34,756.02
20 34,650.29

“As you’d expect, the list of the top 20 sites in paid search includes many sites that can benefit directly from online sales,” said Marcus Tober, CTO of Searchmetrics. “The Paid Visibility score that we used to create the list reflects the advertising activity of a domain on Google UK. Changes in Paid Visibility could result from budget increases or decreases and you could probably assume that the higher the Paid Visibility score, the more budget a domain is spending on Google AdWords campaigns. Many online companies plan paid search campaigns hand in hand with their organic search marketing efforts – often turning to paid search to keep their traffic stable in the wake of fluctuations in the organic search results.”

The Searchmetrics’ weekly Paid Visibility score is a measure of how frequently and prominently a domain appears in paid search results based on weekly data from the search results for millions of keywords which Searchmetrics uses to populate the database that powers its online software for search and social marketers¹.

Google itself ( is included in the list of 20 top paid search advertisers as it uses paid search results to attract customers for its own products, such as the AdSense programme and promoting its web browser, Google Chrome.

The Searchmetrics list of the top 20 sites that are most visible in organic search (see table underneath) is topped by free online encyclopedia site, Interestingly, is positioned at number six, which makes it the most visible retail site in organic searches, as well as being top for paid search.

“From the results of our study you would expect that many potential online shoppers who are not sure where to buy a product will end up buying at Amazon, because it is highly visible in both the organic and paid part of Google, driving lots of customers to its website,” said Matthias Bachor, Marketing Director at Searchmetrics.

Top 20 most visible sites in organic search on Google UK
Domain Average SEO visibility score
1 14,647,257.45
2 3,356,357.41
3 2,569,029.43
4 2,267,828.00
5 2,151,814.59
6 2,002,721.00
7 1,905,803.29
8 1,813,435.80
9 1,789,584.18
10 1,301,060.82
11 1,231,291.90
12 1,177,269.25
13 1,033,977.37
14 956,818.78
15 752,477.68
16 689,293.35
17 657,325.76
18 606,653.51
19 545,640.20
20 524,797.45

UK news sites, including,, and all make it into the top 20 organic search list, together with social media giants, and and Google properties, and The list was developed using Searchmetrics‘ SEO visibility score for Google UK, a measure of how visible and prominent a site is within organic search results¹.


¹How Paid and Organic search visibility is measured

The study analyses the most visible websites across Google UK’s paid and organic search results, where visibility is defined by Searchmetrics’ ‘Paid Visibility’ and ‘SEO Visibility’ scores.

Searchmetrics tracks the paid and organic ranking of millions of keywords every week and calculates the visibility scores based on:

  • The number of times a domain appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs) across the keyword set
  • Its prominence within those SERPs (a higher ranking equates to a higher visibility score)
  • The competitiveness of the keyword (higher search volumes equate to a higher visibility score)

To create the top 20 lists in this study, Searchmetrics has used average Paid and SEO Visibility scores for the relevant domains based on the weekly scores over the course of 2012.

While SEO Visibility can relate to a website’s real traffic, it is important to remember that traffic can come from many different places online. Therefore SEO Visibility is only an indicator of visibility that comes from a website’s organic search channel.

If you have an questions about this press release or the study please contact us.