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Pay For Performance Search Engine & Directory Services

These days, most search engines and directories have a Pay For Performance (PFP) or Pay Per Click (PPC) element to them. These paid services are a way of promoting your site by paying for the extra exposure, rather than relying solely on your site's search engine ranking as determined by the search engine compatibility of your site design. 

The extra exposure can include having your site listed above the normal search listings under "sponsored matches" or "featured listings", or via specially designed text ads that display when your target keywords or phrases are searched on. For companies that don't have search engine compatible sites, or that don't have the time or budget to implement a traditional search engine optimization campaign to obtain high rankings, PPC and PPC options can be a good solution to increasing site traffic, quickly. These options are also an excellent choice when used in combination with a search engine optimization campaign to achieve maximum exposure and larger traffic volumes.

Below is an outline of the most popular Pay For Performance models:

Overture - Pay Per Click

Google AdWords - Pay Per Click

Looksmart LookListings Small Business - Pay Per Click

If you plan on using pay per click advertising services, consider investing in pay per click bid management software to help manage your PPC campaigns.

 BidRank - Pay-per-click Management Software
BidRank Pay Per Click PPC Bid Management Software
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WR007 for 5% off of your purchase!


Overture Pay Per Click (Recommended)

If you create a keyword campaign on Overture (previously known as GoTo) and you buy their "premium listings" (positions 1, 2 or 3) for particular keywords or search phrases, your bid buys you top listings on Overture's partner sites (Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Lycos, Infospace, HotBot & Netscape).

For example, go to Overture and type in a search for wine glasses. Take note of the top 3 spots and how much they have bid to be there. Now go to MSN Search and type in a search for wine glasses. You'll see that below the "Featured Sites", the next three listings are "Sponsored Listings" - these are the same top 3 paid listings from Overture. The regular MSN directory listings follow underneath. So basically, purchasing Premium listings on Overture can give you top billing on other major search engines too.





Listings would be monitored by Web Rank, using approved software to ensure bid amounts were consistent to attain target positions without going over budget. Volume levels are determined by your budget, as you only pay for the traffic delivered.



Reach: Expand your reach to 75% of all Internet's users compared to the 40% reach of their Classic Listings (positions 4-240).


Exposure: Put your listings on the highest quality, most-frequently visited sites on the Web.


Maximum Traffic: Receive an average of twice as many quality clicks per month from Premium Listings compared to their Classic Listings.


Top Position: Position yourself as the #1 search listing on great sites across the Web.


Convenience: List your site once and manage just one account to be seen on the Web's most popular sites.

How much you pay depends on the keyword or phrase you are bidding on and what position you want to purchase. Each account has a USD 20 minimum monthly spend and there is a USD 50 deposit required to open the account (gets credited towards your keyword bids). There is a minimum bid requirement of USD 0.05 per click through. You pay the bid price EACH TIME somebody clicks through to your site from the Overture and partner listings.  

With the large traffic numbers driven to your site via Premium Listings, the costs of keyword bid campaigns can quickly add up, so we highly recommend deciding on a total budget so that we can develop a cost effective keyword bid allocation and maintenance plan combining both premium and classic listings. We strongly recommend a minimum keyword spend of USD 300 per month to achieve the best results. Monthly reports would be provided to help you track the performance of the PPC campaign and traffic generated.

Cost: Click Here for Our Overture Pay Per Click Pricing

More Info: (choose the Pay For Performance link).

[Web Rank have used Overture for our own web sites and client sites with mixed results. While the traffic for popular terms is very high with Premium listings, the click thru's can quickly add up, costing a lot of money per month. Choosing cheaper keywords and phrases that are still commonly searched on is the best strategy. Web Rank recommends that if you are thinking of using Overture, establish a short term keyword campaign and conduct thorough research using WordTracker or a similar keyword research tool beforehand to see which terms are the most popular but the cheapest (most cost effective overall)]. 

Google AdWords Pay Per Click (Recommended)

AdWords Select combines all the features of AdWords with cost-per-click (CPC) pricing. With cost-per-click (CPC) pricing, you pay only when a customer clicks on your ad, regardless of how many times it's shown. Google adjusts your bids automatically to keep you ahead of your competition at the lowest possible price.

Like AdWords, Google AdWords Select gives web site owners the ability to promote their site when particular keyword or key phrase searches are conducted at Google. Your ads appear on the right side of results pages in a green “call out” box under the heading “Sponsored Links”. Your AdWords text ads appear on search result pages for the keywords you buy, and can be targeted by language and country. So, to reach collectors of tin toys you might buy the keywords "toy collector," "tin toys," etc.

Unlike AdWords, the pricing of Adwords Select is based on the amount you are prepared to bid for your keyword or phrase and the overall cost is determined by the number of click-thru’s your ad achieves (regardless of the number of impressions served). Google positions your ad based on how many users click on it over time. Google will automatically disable any keywords with less than 0.5% click-thru rates. Web Rank would take your list of preferred search terms and create a range of text ads to promote your site with. Over time, only the most successful ads would be retained (those with the highest click-thru rate).

Cost: Click Here for Our Google AdWords Pay Per Click Pricing 

More Info:

[Web Rank have used Google AdWords Select for our own web sites and client sites with good results. Because your ad is shown every time there is a matching search, but you only pay when someone clicks your ad, you achieve a lot of “free” impressions. By being constantly associated with certain search terms, this type of campaign can cost-effectively contribute to your site’s branding power. In our opinion, it is well worth giving Google AdWords Select a try].

Looksmart LookListings Small Business (Not Recommended) have taken the recent and highly criticized step of transforming themselves from a Paid Directory model to a Pay For Performance model, removing their Express Submit directory submission service in the process. You now must pay a set up fee and pay again when visitors click on your listing, rather than pay for once for a site review when submitting your site. The "relevancy keywords", title and description chosen during the set up of your listing now determine when your site appears for searches. There is no free submission option to Looksmart and the only way to get your site into their directory is to either pay for their Small Business Listings or submit your site via the Zeal directory (for non-profit sites only). Currently, these changes apply to only, not regional directory versions.

Important: Existing Looksmart Express Submit customers have had their sites automatically transferred to Small Business Listings. This means that although existing customers paid a "One Time Fee" of $199 or $299 for a site listing with no set expiry period, they are now only entitled to $300 worth of free clicks at the maximum rate of 100 clicks per month (meaning, unless you pay more money, your site will be only be listed in Looksmart for the next 20 months). 

Web Rank are disappointed by this development and believe it represents poor value for money. 

For those new to Looksmart, Small Business Listings set up includes:

1) Create Your  Listing for a Set Up Fee of USD 49 which includes:

- site description & title
- "relevancy keywords"
- directory category

2) Set Your Monthly Budget:

- set your maximum monthly budget
- set your maximum click rates for each URL
- your account is debited USD 0.15 per click thru
- minimum USD 150 account deposit

3) Account Management

- traffic reporting
- automatic monthly account refills (from your nominated credit card)
- adjust your budget
- update description, title and relevancy keywords
- bids monitored automatically
In our opinion, this service does NOT represent value for money.

Cost: Click Here for Our Looksmart LookListings Small Business Pricing

More Info: 

[Web Rank used to use LookSmart for our own site and other clients, with excellent results. However, because we feel Looksmart's latest move towards PPC has isolated and mislead existing clients, we no longer recommend their services to our clients.]


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Last Updated: December 19, 2010

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