This is not about PPC (Google Adwords). This is the recent call by Rand Fishkin that he had noticed a site go top of the search pages after he’d tweeted about it. I first heard about ‘Search n Click’ programs this year.
The resultant flood of searches & clicks on Google rocketed the site to the top of the page. Now, a lot of people will have heard about ‘purchase searches and clicks’ schemes. Kind of like buying links used to work. Google gives weight to many factors in their algorithm (and used to give much more weight to backlinks, with less discrimination).
Then Google realised that people were gaming the system. The same is probably already true for ‘search and click’ schemes now.
If you don’t know what a search and click scheme is, it is a service whereby you pay a provider, who then pays people to search on certain phrases, and then click on the assigned url. This boosts the site’s relevancy in Google’s eyes, as the website is deemed more ‘relevant’ to the search.
But after Rand Fishkin calling it out, and Danny Sullivan in on the Tweet, it’s fair to assume that this method of boosting a website’s rankings will come under the magnifying glass at Google for a closer look.
Another good reason to have a diverse approach to both online & offline marketing, rather than putting all your eggs in one basket. If you’ve been participating in one of these programs, then beware – Google has a history of coming down hard on any website they feel is trying to game the system.