I don't know how you could see it any other way! here's the proof:
I have two sites, we are two *different* companies under the same roof - NAVCO, and JVI - they each have their own different domains, with different products, etc. We have both been gaining in SERPs, and gaining many new visitors every month over the last 2 years that I have worked on the sites, SEOing them- we have seen a 250% increase in visitor count AND resultant growing sales too! Awesome right?!
Well in February I decided to try Adwords to increase visitors and thus sales even more.
I started ONE adwords account, and in it I have two campaigns, one for NAVCO, and one for JVI. Under each campaign I have about 20 Ads for the different products (these happen to be my target keywords in SEO too of course). So for example under the NAVCO campign, I have an ads optimized for:
"industrial vibrators", "bin or hopper vibrators", "railcar vibrators" etc.
Then under the JVI campaing I have ads optimized for "vibratory feeders", "vibratory screens" etc.
Now I started my Google Adwords in February.
My domain stats show the in March, my visitor count started to drop slowly :( I had a stats service interupt in mid march so i cannot see exactly when this happened, but the first week of March my daily visitors were like, 127, 183, 141, 142, 161, 137...then the last week of March, visitors count daily was like 92, 95, 88 (no this was not weekends)
BOTH sites showed this trend and yes both sites lost stats mid month cause they are hosted on the same server.
I also use WPG to see a big picture of my 'visibilty' on the big SEs...and that rank has dropped considerably for BOTH sites, from about 65% in January, to 30% visibilty this month, a slow steady drop every few days that I check it, it goes lower - like 65%, 63%, 64%, 61%, 62%, 60%, 58%, 60%, 57%, 58%, 55%....down to 30%
If you dont use WPG and dont know what "visibility" is on it: It checks 18 SEs for me, and it checks on about 20 keyword phrases I choose, it sees my rank on each SE for each KW. If I was ranked #1 for every word, on every SE, I would get a 100% visibility rating. So you can see what the drop in WPGs "visibility" score means, is my ranks for my words are dropping.
Anyway - the point is - the ONLY thing I did different is start Google Adwords. I did not edit my sites in any way during this time. And since the drop is happening to BOTH sites, both of which just started Google Adwords, I can only deduce that Google Adwords is the reason for the drop.
Could it be that if my ads are not doing so well on Adwords *compared to my competitors* - that Google uses that info to also assume my web site should not rank so well in organic results as those same competitors???
It is truly not fair - but I can see how they could use that logic and think it was correct. In my opinion my competitor is just more of a household name, or they write their adwords better than I do to illicit more clickthrus - but it does not mean their site is better than mine or their product is better than mine! it's not fair of Google to make that assumption! We sell EXACLTY the same items to exactly the same customers, if I have good ranks in the organic SERPS due to my good SEO skills, but I am not so good at writing Adwords, it is not fair to penalize my organic SERPS!
I guess the final test will be to cancel my Adwords account and see if my organic SERPs go back up. If they do, I intend to spread this conspiracy as FACT, far and wide!!!!!
----Whew! I have never been on such a rant! But this really makes me mad!!-----thanks for listening, and any thoughts are welcome.
Curious - has anyone seen this happen to you?