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PPC Search Engines : "Which Ones Are Worth your Advertising Dollars"

By Merle
Posted Friday, July 16, 2004

Which PPC search engines are worth your money and time Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the basics of Pay Per Click Search Engines (aka "PPC"). In this installment, we're going to discuss some of the major players in the industry and what it takes to get started with an account of your own.

1) Formerly known as, they were the first PPC in existence, and still the best. You'll get maximum impact for your money with Overture. You can open an account using the "self serve option" for only 0.00. Minimum bid is 5 cents with a 0.00 monthly minimum spend. That means if you rack up less than 0.00 in clicks you'll still be billed for the 0.00. The amount you bid deter- mines your ranking in this search engine.

For maximum impact you'll want to try to bid into the top 3 positions (called "premium listings"), as these spots are shown on some of the major search engines such as Yahoo, MSN, Altavista, Lycos/Hotbot, and others (usually under the heading of "sponsored listings"). This makes for great exposure due to these extensive relationships with the majors.

2) -Ad Words Select: Recently joining the arena of PPC with their new program "Ad Words Select," Google is aiming to give Overture a run for their money. Their program works slightly differently then Overture's; in some ways it's even better. To open an account you'll need to invest .00 and create short text ads. When searches are done on Google for your keywords/phrases, your ads will show up in the right hand column on the results page.

Unlike Overture, the position of your ads is based on two factors: the amount of your bid, and the clickthru rate your ad receives. Google recently made a deal with AOL to show the top 3 Ad Words Select listings on AOL Search, along with Earthlink and Sympatico. This really extends Google's reach and gives your site a chance to be seen by AOL's 33 million users.

Minimum cost per click is 5 cents and you can set up a maximum daily spend amount if you're on a tight budget. Ads can be updated or changed whenever you like by logging into the control panel.

Beware of Google's Editors, who are a tough crowd to please and will block your ads if they don't meet their "strict guidelines." One thing they don't allow is all caps in your URL. For example they won't let you put "" in your ad as they feel this is "excessive capitalization." So you'll have to settle for "" I told you they were tough.

3)'re not looking too smart these days after they angered many of their existing customers by changing them over from a pay-for-submission to a PPC model. They call the new program "LookListings Small Business." To open an account you'll pay a 9.00 set-up fee plus a refundable deposit of 50.00. Click thrus are all charged the same amount of .15, so your bid won't buy you any kind of position. You'll need to rely on relevant keywords and a great title and description for best placement. Unlike Overture, you'll find no bidding wars here.

LookSmart's search engine partners include MSN, Netscape, Altavista, Prodigy and

You set a monthly spend amount and LookSmart emails reports each month of all activities.

4) Launched in Sept of 1999 and serving up over 22 million searches per day. Since FindWhat is not as well known, you can bid on many keywords for much less than you would pay for them with Overture. To activate an account you'll need to deposit 5.00. Payment can be made by check or credit card. No minimum monthly spends are required here. Minimum bid amount is 1 cent.

They do run an affiliate program whose sponsors show their search results. Some of their affiliates and partners are:, Dogpile, MetaCrawler and CNET's But to be shown on these sites you'll need to bid into the top 3 positions. FindWhat also has a reputation for offering excellent customer service.

5) Currently receiving over 410 million searches per month. Other sites that pull from Kanoodle's paid listings are MetaCrawler, and Netzero as well as 9,800 "other" search enabled sites.

Minimum amount needed to open an account is 5.00. Minimum bid is 1 cent. Can be paid by credit card or check. With only 1 cent per click, you can bid on a lot of keywords and make your marketing dollars go a lot further.

If you're interested in checking out a few others, here are some that are not as well known but will give you free advertising money just for opening up a new account:

( (0.00) ( (00.00) ( (0.00) ( (0.00) ( Buy 10.00 and they'll give you an extra 0.00
( Whatever amount you deposit they'll match it.

Some other popular PPC's to investigate are:


Other Helpful Tools

Free E-book Explains The Basics of PPC Search Engines (

Enter Keywords you're interested in bidding on and they'll show you the top 6 bids for 11 of the major PPC engines (
To get traffic to your website you need to utilize many different promotional tactics. Incorporating a good PPC search engine strategy will send you highly qualified traffic for pennies on the dollar, and the best part is you only pay when they "Click."

About the Author
Merle is an internet marketer, promotion consultant and ezine publisher. Visit her sites at (, ( and (http;//


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