Brands that are given the exposure of high rankings in the search engines benefit from increased consumer awareness and brand affinity, according to a new survey commissioned by Google.

The Ipsos / Enquiro survey, which uses search data from Europe, aimed to look at the role of branding in search marketing.

It found that a prominent presence on search results pages was a significant factor in brand building – being top of the organic listings ‘raises purchase consideration of a brand by 4%’, according to Google’s Henry Eccles.

Meanwhile, having the top paid listing lifted purchase consideration by 20%, while, according to Eccles:

“The gold standard is being top of both organic and sponsored listings. This combination raised purchase consideration by 22%. We’ve seen the same lifts for all verticals, including FMCG, retail and technology, and all markets, so we believe this is brand, vertical and market agnostic.”

The preliminary results of Google’s survey are backed up by previous research by eyetracking firm Enquiro Research at the end of last year.

Using Honda at the test case, it found that that purchase intent increased when the brand occupied the top paid and organic slots in the rankings – people were 42% more likely to recall the brand.