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By Staff

What are Pay Per Click Search Engines? 

It all started back in 1998-99 with the somewhat controversial launch of, the first bid-for-position or paid positioning search engine. Professional marketing discussion groups and newsletters accepted the birth of with all the apprehension and heated debate you would expect from such a venture. Most hoped it would be ignored or universally rejected and die. That was then. Now there are upward of 100 or so Pay per click (PPC) provider hopefuls.

PPC search engines work exactly like a regular search engine that you would use to find something on the Internet. The only difference is that with PPC search engines, you have to pay to be listed in it. You actually pay on a CPC (cost per click) basis. 

PPC’s build web site traffic through the use of search engines. They are in essence a web site promotion tool used to generate traffic (visitors) to your site. Their popularity is growing rapidly because it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve good listing positions on the various free search engines available.

To be effective, PPC search engines must efficiently connect consumers and producers of information, goods, and services. It must be mutually beneficial to both web surfers and advertisers. It should offer web surfers fast, relevant, unique search results with minimal advertising clutter on result pages. For advertisers it should offer an efficient, user-friendly bid management interface with a reasonable number of targeted web site visitors.

In addition to helping to generate traffic to your site, PPC’s provide you with a way to predict the cost of generating traffic to you site. For small pay per click fee charged for each visitor to you site, you know the cost and value of each visitor.

Who are they?

There is a variety of PPC search engines out there. We will examine just a few here. The first and most popular PPC is (formally really are the ones who started the PPC concept. They are probably the most powerful and a wise choice to spend your money on. Their portal has reached a top 20 status and more importantly their search results can be found at AOL, MSN, HotBot, Lycos and other important sites. The bad news is that the listings placed with them are the most costly.

Other PPC providers include (refer to back of booklet for listing with links for these sites):
 (formally has high traffic with top search results that appear on major search engines. UK version is also available. This is the best and most popular of them all, often referred to as “ the King” of PPC search engines because of its well organized system. Also provides a search term suggestion list to help you choose the best keywords to describe your offerings.

         7Search is a PPC provider that is reported to be the top traffic generator of all PPC search engines. It also offers advertisers immediate email notification when they are outbid for the top ranking on a keyword; a keyword generator tool and a 1:1 banner exchange program.

         NetsearchProvider is a low cost traffic generator. They bring shoppers to your site for as little as 3-cents a hit.

         Bay9 boasts a high amount of traffic compared to most PPC providers and offers substantially lower prices. It is a highly relevant search engine with a referral program that pays 20%.
 is a PPC provider that has moderate traffic; good bid management and top search results that appear on selected search engines. In March 2000, they introduced new technology designed to read most simple plain English queries. Search terms can be bought cheaper here than at Overture. More than 10 million searches a day are being made on FindWhat.

         Kanoodle offers great ease of use and is quickly becoming a traffic generator. US or UK search results available. Has a reciprocal relationship with UK’s and has partnerships with NetZero, DogPile, CNET, Metacrawler, and Turbofind.

         Sprinks is important PPC through portal because of its strong relationship with Fast, relevant search results.

         HootingOwl is a PPC provider where you can lock in a top listing position for your site and it is a search engine that is rapidly growing. Offers free email and open directory search results.

         CurioScape is a PPC that lists the largest, exclusive, antiques, art, collectibles and specialties online.

         GoClick is a vastly improving pay per click search engine. It has received record increases in traffic and continues to upgrade the account area. It has some of the best tools available to help you manage your keywords and to help find more relevant terms.

         EPilot results are displayed on partner’s sites such as NetZero, DogPile, and Infospace.

 How do they work and How do you use them?

As explained in “what they are”, PPC search engines work just like ordinary search engines with the exception that you (the advertiser) have to pay to be listed (advertise) in a pay per click search engine.  PPC search engines enable web site advertisers to enter a bid for listing position on relevant “key words” and/or “key phrases”, also known as “search terms.” For each URL, or in some instances search terms, a title and description or promotional message must be specified. Usually a title must be about 40 to 50 characters long, but a promotional message may be between 150 to 200 characters long. Sometimes a logo may also be specified.

Search engines are the most frequent way in which consumers find new web sites on the Internet and are the top information resource Americans use when seeking answers. We spend an average of 1.5 hours per week searching the Internet for information and on average, we experience “search rage” if we don’t find what we want in the first 12 minutes online.

 A visitor will use a PPC such as and enter in a keyword or key phrase into the search box to search for a product or service. For example, say this person is looking for a particular gift item, he or she would simply type in the keyword “gifts” and receive a listing of sites that sell gift items. Or if they wanted something more specific, let’s say, only pewter gifts, then they would type in “pewter gifts” and receive a listing of only the sites that offer pewter gift items. The search can be as broad or as narrow as the user wants it to be by simply typing in less or more descriptive keywords or key phrases.


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