A Comparison of Paid
Search Advertising Models
By Bill Platt (c) 2006 the Phantom Writers
As webmasters, we are all chasing customers. We are looking for human visitors to come to our websites and to buy what we are selling.
To serve our needs for targeted traffïc --- potential customers --- the search companies have begun to offer us a share of their significant traffïc through many paid advertising methods.
The most common advertising offer at the search engines is the PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising model. There are also other search advertising models such as CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) and Featured Listings.
In this article, we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of each advertising method.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising Model
By far, PPC is currently the most popular advertising model. From the buyer's perspective, it is usually the most expensive type of advertising and the one that generates the most fear of fraud. In fact, many experts suggest that click-fraud might be as high as 20 to 25% of all click-traffic.
Pay-Per-Click is exactly what it sounds like. The advertiser bids on keywords and tells the advertising company that they will pay X number of cents or dollars for every clíck that they receive to their website through the PPC-provider's website.
Advertisers compete for position within the search results with the highest bidder getting the best advertising spot at the top of the results. The second highest bidder gets the #2 spot, etc.
Generally, Pay-Per-Click providers serve three listings on the first page of search results. Only when there is strong competition for a particular keyword term and a number of advertisers vying for placement, will the PPC-provider show results with more than three advertisers.
If you bid the minimum five cents per clíck (the standard for most PPC systems), then it is possible that you might not see your listing on page one or page two of the search results. Let's face it; PPC providers are interested in making the most monëy they can from the traffïc they send to people. So, if one advertiser is paying a dollar per clíck and you are only bidding five cents a clíck, who do you think will receive the best placement? Yep, the one-dollar per clíck advertiser will get the most attention and the best placement, even if it requires pushing your placement back to page three of the search results.
The top two PPC-providers are:
http://www.content.overture.com/d/ - Owned by Yahoo! Other not-so-well-known providers of PPC traffïc, in alphabetical order, include:
http://www.miva.com - Formerly FindWhat.com
The biggest advantage to these systems is that they serve large pools of consumers online, and they let you target specific search keywords.
The disadvantages are numerous. Those most often cited include: the high cost of bids for certain keywords, poor conversion r