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Pay per click or PPC advertising has often been equated with Google advertising that the newbie internet marketer would think it is the only option available for those who want to go into pay per click advertising.

PPC is actually an internet advertising model used by various providers, including Google Adwords, Microsoft adCenter and Yahoo! Search Marketing which are considered the three largest network operators.

Under the PPC scheme, the websites which hosts the advertisements get paid only when the advertisements are clicked. While advertisers bid on target-market relevant keyword phrases for search engines, a fixed per click price is charged by content sites.

PPC follow the affiliate model which provides income to the affiliate that could generate sales. Without sales, there is no cost for the merchant.

So how does the PPC system work?

Let’s say an advertiser has a list of keywords. When one or more of these keywords match a keyword query, specific advertisements called sponsored ads or links are then displayed in websites that make use of PPC ads. The same is true when relevant content is displayed by a content site.

The bid-based model is followed by Google, Yahoo and an MSN, with the cost per click dependent on the search engine and a particular keyword’s level of competition.

Adsense users are familiar with how Google PPC works, and are most probably aware of how the system can be susceptible to abuse. Unfortunately, click fraud is a common dilemma among all the providers who have implemented a system to automatically guard and detect abusive clicks.

Google PPC

Google’s Adsense is usually the model used for PPC as it is the number one PPC affiliate program in the world. A significant part of Google Adsense is Google Adwords which allow website publishers to display contextual text ads and earn from them. Through the Google AdWords program, Google gets paid by the advertiser, and the publisher gets paid by Google. Every click on the website ads means income for the website owner at a rate of between $0.02 per click to as much as $100 per click.

AdWords is big business for Google which earned a total of $23 billion in total advertising in 2009. Included in the AdWords program are par per click advertising as well as banner, rich-media and text site-targeted advertising. Google offers short text and image advertisements.

How many times have you used Google to search for information? You are not alone. The reason why most consumers prefer to use Google is the swiftness with which it can find the relevant information you need. And as an entrepreneur who wants get your product within the reach of your target market, it is easy to decide on which provider to trust your money with when it comes to advertisement.

But while a lot of affiliates make up to $1000 or more from Google Adsense every month, not everyone are equally successful. For one, publishers have to comply with the strict rules imposed by Google Adsense including quality content, minimum web traffic and websites that are at least 6 months old.

MSN PPC

If you’ve tried and failed in Google, or if you want to expand your income using other programs, then it is good to note that there are other affiliate programs aside from Google and they follow almost the same system and principle. Just like Google, these affiliate programs pay you through Paypal or other methods once you reach the minimum payout limit. But first, you have to create your own website so it can host relevant ads depending on your content.

Not too many people know about the MSN adCenter and understandably so considering that it is the new kid on the block. Advertisers only have to pay for ads that get clicked on, plus they can set their own price per click. If you are new to the world of PPC then MSN’s adCenter will be able to help you decide how to go about your PPC campaign by providing tools that will help you choose the most appropriate keywords for your business. It will also provide you more information about your target market and the performance of your ads.

Unfortunately, MSN’s adCenter has limited availability for now as it is still a beta and is undergoing a US-only pilot program. But generally, it works like Google and Yahoo’s PPC programs in terms of keyword bidding, and ad targeting. What sets the MSN adCenter program from the rest aside from demographic targeting for their advertisers, a feature it shares with Google AdWords, it also allows a more time-specific ad targeting system. With MSN’s adCenter, advertisers can target their ads on specific times of the day or days of the week.

While there is no minimum spending requirement for MSN adCenter and you can work on the budget you have set, there is however a $5 initial set up fee. The $.05 minimum keyword bid is relatively cheap but you have to consider that MSN has a search market share of only 10 top 15 percent.

Yahoo PPC

You will have the chance to get your hands on various online marketing tools when you choose Yahoo! Search marketing or YSM. This includes local advertising, sponsored search and directory submissions. YSM generally refers to Yahoo’s pay-per-click service which ranks next to Google Adwords. It is in fact the next best alternative if you want to opt for other PPC providers as it has a large market reach.

Online marketers usually go for YSM ad campaigns as they are easier to set up. You however have to contend with a certain period wherein the new listing will be reviewed by the editorial team. While YSM has a lower volume compared to Google, it has proven to be more profitable for some marketers given the lower cost sales.

 

If you are aiming for an older market, then research shows that you may be better off with Yahoo PPC which is favoured among those moving in the Business To Customer market. Yahoo PPC is cheaper by almost 50 percent compared to Google. Other marketers also like the fact that with very little competitor in Yahoo PPC, they get the chance for higher conversion rates.

While Google is more popular, online marketers will easily agree that Yahoo PPC brings in more profit but it will still depend on your market, the AD texts uses and the chosen keywords among others.

Each of the three PPC providers namely Google, MSN and Yahoo has its own advantage and disadvantages. This makes it all the more important for you to focus not just on one online marketing strategy, but if possible on several providers. This way, you will be able to spread out your resources and get different results that will help you decide which strategy to put more resources on.

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