Pay Per Click Search Engines

Pay per click search engines (PPC) has become an integrated part of search engine optimization. They are all based on the auction principle. You make a bid for a certain keyword or keyword phrase, and the amount decide the ranking. On this page you will find selected PPC search engines, as well as resources that will help you make the best out of these marketing tools.

Selected Pay Per Click Search Engines

The major pay-per-click search engine in the US is Yahoo! Search Marketing (previously known as Overture and GoTo), which delivers paid results to many of the major search sites, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! and Lycos included.

Equally important is Google's Adwords program, which gives you access to the search engine result pages of Google. The Google Adword text ads may also be displayed on web site (like for instance Pandia). If you want to reach as many potential visitors as possible, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google Adwords will deliver. In Europe Espotting is also important. However, if you want to go for some of the more popular search queries, these search engines can be very expensive.

The smaller PPC services may also be of use. Admittedly, nearly none of them reach any of the major portals, but they do deliver results to a wide array of metasearch engines, and you can get clicks for a very reasonable price indeed.

Some tips on pay per click promotion

PPC may be very expensive and even wasteful if you bid on any term that comes out of the top of your head.

People do not necessarily think the way you do, and may use other search queries to find what you offer. Use Wordtracker or some of the other keyword tools available to pinpoint relevant keyword. The Pandia SEO Gateway has a list of keyword tools.

If you use pay per click search engines, chances are that you are trying to get visitors to buy goods or services at your site, or that you are looking for visitors that will come back repeatedly. You do not want to waste money on people that are not interested in what your site has to offer.

Hence, you should not bid for the expensive term "car" if your site is selling miniature model T-Fords. You do not want want to pay for visitors looking for a full size vehicle.

A lot of searchers are looking for information only. You may obviously try to get some of them to buy your goods if you provide information relevant to their field of interest, but if you want to target your campaign towards paying customers only, include words like "buy" or "offering" in the page description. People looking for free information or goods will look elsewhere.

As long as you pay for click-throughs only (and not ad views), you may bid for as many variants of potential search queries as possible. Rare keyword phrases are much more cheaper than the most popular queries. Moreover, they are often more targeted, meaning that the searcher is more likely to find what he or she is looking for.

Do not necessarily go for the number one spot. Some people click on the top spot automatically, even if it clearly does not provide the information they are looking for. The conversion rate for the number 2 and 3 spots, i.e. the number of actual buyers per click-through, may be higher.

If you are bidding on Yahoo! Search Marketing (formerly known as Overture), you must be in the top 3 to get listed on the first page of results on the major search portals. Note, however, that the US Yahoo! portal, will list new Yahoo! Search Marketing results on the second page of listings, meaning that you may get some valuable traffic from that directory, even if you do not reach the top spot. And those positions are more inexpensive.

If you bid on a lot of terms for several sites, you should consider buying some of the pay-per-click tools available (see above).

Remember that a PPC listing is a text ad. As for all ads, good copy sells. Make your site description enticing. Remember though, that a PPC search engine like Overture will not accept false advertising or pure hype.

Note: This is an archived version of pandia's article on PPC. Written by Per and Susanne Koch. Published on April 2002.