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pay per performance search engine review

Details about the major pay per click search engines, their features and important differences between them

The purpose of this review is to show you the main benefits of the reviewed pay per performance search engines, their advantages and disadvantages and how the most important differences between them can affect the profitability of your pay per performance advertising campaign.

up to 60 $ in free pay per click traffic waiting for You - see below !

pay per performance search engine - big players

Google AdWords

ad-space: 25 characters for the title + 2 lines with 35 char. each
minimum bid per click: 5 Cents
minimum monthly spend: none
no pop-ups allowed

Google´s pay per performance search engine is the only one who allows advertisers to send traffic to others than their own domains, which is a big opportunity for affiliate marketers who don´t have their own websites.
Another advantage is that you can write several different ads for one keyphrase (or group of keyphrases), which gives you the ability to easily compare the performance of your ads and also improve if necessary.
Google AdWords is also the only pay per performance search engine which shows new ads within minutes (not 2-3 business days) and they´ll notify you later in case your ad doesn´t meet their guidelines.
Advanced ad positioning rewards advertisers with lower costs for relevant ads. The cost per click and the placement of your ad not only depend on the amount you bid compared to other advertisers, but also on the click-through rate (performance) of your ad. So you can actually get a higher placement for less cost than your competitors.
As Google gets about 35-40% of all search requests, you can count with a good amount of targeted website traffic.
A unique feature is the daily maximum amount you want to spend per campaign, that you can set individually for each pay per performance advertising campaign.
Google differentiates between singulars, plurals and misspellings.

You have very little space to describe your offer, so you should learn to become good in writing classified ads.
Lacks of a good keyword suggestion (and metrics) tool. The only keyword suggestion you get is a list of related keyphrases but without the metrics (how often the term has been searched in the past month and how many competing ads there are).
Your ad must get a minimum click-through rate of at least 0.5% or it´ll get disabled pretty fast. Well, this point can be seen as disadvantage but in the end you´ll find out that it´s to your best, because it prevents you from targeting the wrong keyphrases.
no pop-ups are allowed on the landing page.


ad-space: 40 char. title + 190 char. for description
minimum bid per click: 10 Cents
minimum monthly spend: 20 $
pop-ups allowed: 1

Overture gives you enough space to accurately describe your offer. Their pay per performance search engine consists of a network of smaller (than Google) search engines like Lycos, Altavista, CNN search, etc ... so the coverage is pretty good (high percentage of the total monthly search requests).
Good keyword suggestion tool, showing also important keyword metrics like number of monthly search requests and the bid amounts of your competitors, so you can easily spot profitable keyphrases.
Easier to manage than Google Adwords in the beginning, because your ad position depends only on the amount you bid and doesn´t require a minimum click-through for some time (but after about 2 months they´ll disable your ads if performance is very poor).


Only 3 sponsor listings per page, i.e. only the top 3 make it to the first page, 4-6 to the second page and so on. This and the minimum bid amount of 10 Cents can turn an Overture pay per performance search engine campaign pretty expensive.
You must send the traffic to your own pages. Well, that´s actually only a disadvantage for affiliate marketers without websites as they cannot use Overture and the other ppc search engines below.
Overture lumps plurals, singulars and misspellings together (f.ex. "debt consolidation" stands for anything like "Debt Consolidation", "debt consolodation", "debt consolidations", "debts consolidation"), so you have less keyphrases which increases the competition (and the bid price).

pay per performance search engine - the less known


ad-space: 40 char. title + 190 char. description
minimum bid per click: 5 Cents
minimum monthly spend: 10 $
pop-ups allowed: 1

A big advantage at Kanoodle´s pay per performance search engine is that there are very few advertisers yet, so you can still get traffic on competitive keyphrases for 5 Cents per click.
What I like most is that you can schedule exactly at which days and during which hours your ads appear, a feature that Google Adwords and Overture don´t have.
Kanoodle has also a good keyword suggestion and metrics tool, which shows you how often certain keyphrases have been searched in the past month in Kanoodles network and how many clicks the keyphrases have generated.
Search results appear on affiliated partner websites, which have Kanoodle´s search box installed on them.

Less traffic than from the big popular ppc search egines.


ad-space: 50 char. title + 250 char. description
minimum bid per click: 5 Cents
minimum monthly spend: none

Less competition than in the big pay per performance search engines, so you can usually get the clicks cheaper.
Good keyword suggestion tool gives related keywords and number of monthly searches. Differentiates between singulars, plurals and misspellings.

Same like Kanoodle - usually less traffic than from bigger engines.
Like at Overture and Kanoodle, it takes up to 2 business days before new ads are reviewed and activated.

General Notes

All the above pay per perfomance search engines have two ways to generate traffic to your website. Either through a sponsored listing in regular search results, i.e. when someone actually types a certain keyphrase into a search box, or through showing your ads on their network of partner websites (content match), i.e. visitors just happen to see your ad while browsing through other websites and click on it when they are interested.

While common sense tells me that traffic from the search results should convert better, I cannot guarantee it, because it depends on too many factors. Rest assured that you can choose whether you want your ads also to be displayed on other websites or only in the regular search results.
Tracking and testing the different sources for their profitability is an important factor you should include in your pay per performance advertising campaigns.

Google Adwords and Overture offer you a great service to track exactly the performance of each keyphrase. This only works when you have your own website where you can place their tracking codes on the appropriate pages. Otherwise you need to use third party tracking services or use tracking IDs in your affiliate links (a good affiliate program should offer this option).

The keyword suggestion tools of Overture, FindWhat and Kanoodle will give you different numbers for the same keyphrase, because they don´t only count the number of times a keyphrase has been searched for, but as well all clicks from ads displayed on their partner sites.

If you want to know an accurate number of real monthly search requests, then you should use Wordtracker. Use this tool to find profitable keyphrases for which you can get high "natural" search engine rankings.

BTW, if you´re interested in search engine optimization, check out this free course for ethical and economical search engine optimization.

Bonuses and Useful Resources

a definitive guide to Google AdWords

Perry Marshall´s definitive guide to Google AdWords. An intensive course for mastering the AdWords system with examples of 8 different industries and an extensive Q&A section. With Perry´s advice I finally managed to turn my AdWords campaigns into profitable ones.

Get your   free 5 day course   today!  (link opens in new window).

Kanoodle 5 $ free trial

Sign up for a Kanoodle account today and get 5 $ free - no initial deposit required. Advertise your website today and increase your ROI, with   Click Here! (new window)

FindWhat 5 $ sign up bonus

Open an advertiser account with FindWhat and get 5 Dollars added to your initial deposit of 50$.   Click here  (new window)

Overture 50 $ fast track bonus

Reach over 80% of active Internet users with Overture Search Advertising.

or 10 $ bonus on self serve:
Sign up and get a $10 credit.

risk free pay per performance advertising

Other forms of pay per performance advertising with less risk than paying for clicks / visitors. Discover how you can easily have other people sending you tons of traffic for free. Read more about pay per performance advertising

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Whishing You all the best !

Guido W. Stiehle

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