Advertiser Resources – Going Beyond Google
When we think about using paid search to market our products or services, our predominant focus is often the two major players – Google and Yahoo! (in that order).
But the PPC search model has grown to mammoth proportions over the past few years, and companies are putting more and more of their media dollars into search to the point where there’s not enough inventory (via number of searches) to go around.
This drives up the cost of search for advertisers, and makes the channel less effective due to the glut of ads competing for consumer attention. Let’s face it, if there are 12 ads for cell phones in the first page of Google’s search results, it’s difficult to stand out from the crowd. So what’s a marketer to do?
Spending media dollars, one click at a time
There are a number of smaller, second tier, PPC search engines you can add to your media mix including MIVA, whose distribution network incorporates a selection of search engines and web sites including superpages, InfoSpace and search.com and boasts over 2 billion queries per month. Other tier 2 engines/networks include Enhance Interactive and eSpotting (for the European market). Be sure to track conversion and ROI closely with any PPC search campaign – Tier 2 engines are notorious for click fraud, although all engines claim to have processes in place to limit this.
Quigo is a contextual PPC network which is similar to the Google’s content network. You cannot target via keyword on Quigo, you target by category or “channel.” Quigo uses a PPC bidding model. Quigo’s distribution network is impressive and includes top destination and news sites such as Newsday.com, USAToday.com, Chicago Tribune, marthastewart.com and eDiets.com. Quigo provides advertisers with small budgets a way to get their ads on premium web sites affordably, and it’s easy to track ROI since it’s a cost per click model.
ContextWeb is another contextual PPC network. As with Quigo, advertisers do not bid at the keyword level on ContextWeb, but target by category. Ads appear on pages that are contextually relevant to them (e.g., an ad for cell phones might appear next to an article about wireless technology). ContextWeb works very well with popular categories such as health, travel, and technology. ContextWeb also sells graphical ad placements on a CPM basis.
Snap– It seems fitting to end this post with a paid search engine, although Snap.com offers a fascinating new twist to the current paid search model. This is a brand new search engine developed by IdeaLab, the brain child of Bill Gross (founder of GoTo which became Overture and is now Yahoo! Search).
Snap.com is different from the Yahoos and Googles of the world because the search results are visual. Advertisers bid on keywords and their ads are displayed beside an image of their landing page (via a split-screen interface). Snap.com is also the first paid search engine to offer ads on a cost per acquisition (CPA) basis. Advertisers define what an acquisition is when they set up their campaign (e.g., registration, newsletter sign up, sale, etc.) Currently there are about 2000 advertisers on Snap.com, so while there may not be a lot of traffic to the site , there also isn’t a lot of competition.
Michael Pedone is the President / CEO of eTrafficJams.com, a search engine optimization and website marketing company <http://www.etrafficjams.com> located in Clearwater, Florida that specializes in getting targeted, eager-to-buy traffic to your site. You can catch him blogging at: <http://www.etrafficjams.com/blog/>.