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What is Pay Per Click (PPC)?

Pay per click, or PPC, is an advertising technique used on websites, especially search engines. Pay per click advertisements are usually text ads placed near search results; when a site visitor clicks on the advertisement, the advertiser is charged a small amount. Variants include pay for placement and pay for ranking. Pay per click is also sometimes known as Cost Per Click or CPC.

Pay per click is also referred to as sponsored listings, they can appear on search engines, directories and small business websites.

Most of the traffic is generated from the search engines themselves, advertiser can pay to appear in the sponsored area of the search engine, along with the company being displayed on the left hand side in the organic listings, advertisers also have the opportunity to appear in the sponsored listings on the right hand side, a big plus for those companies that do not have high positions in the organic listings.

How the pricing models works is that an advertiser bids on how much they are prepared to spend on a click, this will then position you accordingly amongst other advertisers. Although in principle this sounds very straight forward there are many other things to consider, your ad must also be optimised to the site it points to along with ad scheduling and search and content networks you wish for you advertisements to appear.

The networks are so complex that nowadays many companies look to outsource to a PPC management company.

Example Pay per click (PPC) networks are:

  • Adwords (Google)
  • YSM (Yahoo Search Marketing)
  • MSN
  • Miva
  • Mirago
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