Search Ads Beyond Google & Overture

Aug 3, 2004 - 8:05 pm 0 by

Chris Sherman starts off by saying that there is life outside of Google and Overture. He says that this panel will focus on the opportunities outside of Google and Overture


Peter Hershberg from RepriseMedia was up first, he is here to talk about the other types of engines. Paid listings distribution across the Web is covered by Google (53%) and Overture (45%). So the other 2% is about 2 million searches and the prices on Google and Overture keep climbing. The inventory of search ads is shrinking. So we have Tier II Search (FindWhat, Enhance, LookSmart, Kanoodle, Search 123) and Verticals (, Industry Crains, TravelZooo, and the Shopping Engines (, bizrate and pricegrabber).

The value of working with the alternative PPC engines are: - More volume - Lower minimum CPCs (as low as a penny) a good way to test - Less competition - Hands-on customer service (Tier I can not handle the customer service requests but Tier II's can)

You need to be cautious of the following areas with Tier IIs: - Distribution can be poor quality - Relevancy can be sub-par - Search behavior might differ from Tier I to Tier II - Lack of tools compared with Tier Is - Fraudulent clicks (he went into a lot of detail on this, but I covered click fraud in this mornings session).

Chris Churchill from Fathom Online was next up. He asked who is concerned about the rising price of clicks on the Internet. Pretty much everyone rose their hands, not me, I am typing. Two Ways to Increase ROI (1) better buying and (2) increasing conversions. He briefly discusses the "power of conversion rates" with a 'what if scenario' slide. This session is about "better buying", and he complied data from the first half of 2004, 218 campaigns and 6.8 million clicks. They divided up the universe into tier I and tier II. He broke down conversion rates by Tier. He left out the names of which Tiers were and were not converting. The conversions ranged from 2.92% from a tier II, then a 1.98% from a II, and 1.58% from a II, then two tier Is at 1.37% and 1.12%. He also broke the tiers down based on conversions by industry. For some reason the financial industry performed better on a tier II then on a tier I. If Tier I's have 98% reach, why would Fathom have 18% volume from Tier IIs? Because Fathom leverages both, unlike many SEM companies.

Frank Watson from FXCM stood up without slides. He spends about $200,000 and $150,000 on Google and Overture respectively. He said that is all that is available, so he looks elsewhere. You should utilize the Tier IIs before your competitors do. Use analytics, use verticals, use international engines and test. Short presentation but he made his point - work hard.

Next up was Dan Ballister from He describes who is is. They get 1.5 M clicks/day from 300+ affiliate sites, Espotting in 9 countries, premium private label partners such as lycos and verizon, and they offer merchant services such as miva drive traffic. Advertisers work with FindWhat because they reach a "different footprint," reach ROI goals through efficient bidding and two tiered customer support level. They see the space becoming more and more vertical, cross border marketing (i.e. espotting, mitsui, miva), fully monetizing every paid click (online, on phone, and on premise). They are encouraging you enter a phone number for you to track the on phone "pay per call".

Damien Smith from LookSmart didn't bring a presentation as well (not sure why). Can I reach my volume targets and my requested ROI? He says that is the important question. LookSmart wants to be able to help you by focusing on three things (1) quality traffic (traffic quality is not good enough in the industry today, they are working harder on it now) (2) prices low (3) robust tools. He gave out his personal number so you can speak directly with him if you not happy with LookSmart's services.

Q & A:

Q: Someone why do people participate or conduct clicl fraud? A: :)

Q: What is the ideal time to test a campaign on these Tier IIs? A: FindWhat asks for 90 days, Peter said he agrees but tailors it on the clients needs, Frank adds that there are many variables to take into consideration.

Q: How will FindWhat manage the Pay Per Call campaign? A: FindWhat said there will be a separate area to manage Pay Per Call. Reporting will include pay per call with an 800# and not a hyperlink.

Q: Does LookSmart have plans to do pay per call? A: They haven't looked at it yet, but its possible.

Q: Dana Todd asked Damian if he can go more into how CTR has an impact on listings? A: Damian said its relatively similar to Google, just think of it at CTR x CPC.

No more questions for the panel...So we are just waiting for more questions. I am going to leave and post this. Off to the Google Dance in a couple of hours.

Forum coverage at Search Engine Watch.


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