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pay-per-click contextual advertising versus pay-per-click search engine advertising

What makes contextual advertising different is that your ads do not appear on search engine result pages.

Rather, they appear directly on pages of content found on websites. In effect, if you visit a website that has information about digital cameras, you may encounter contextual advertising of related products, such as memory cards, camera cases, zoom lenses, battery rechargers, etc.

Although many analysts consider contextual advertising to be a new phenomenon, it has actually been present since the Internet became a commercial enterprise, mainly in the form of banner advertising, popups, and other ads.

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Searchfeed

Searchfeed has a robust affiliate/partner program. They offer a two-tier program, based on clicks and referrals.

The affiliate (clicks) program offers either a search box and customized results page to match your website’s design or the traditional inclusion of paid advertising, with topic-oriented grouping, on your website (the Category Chaser option). Detailed reports show visitors’ actions.

The affiliate program returns an estimated percentage of click revenue of between 35% and 50%.

Payments are made within 20 days of the end of a calendar month, with a fairly low minimum amount to release payment of $25. Payment can be made via PayPal, check, or wire transfer.

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The Development of Contextual Advertising

How did the turnaround in the overall opinion of contextual advertising in the popup from to its current popularity come about?

Largely, the switch in viewpoint toward contextual advertising developed out of the vision by Google to use contextual search as a means of delivering more relevant ads to its network of partners and advertisers.

Google was one of the first search engines to offer content targeting in a program called AdSense that launched in March of 2003, but initially limited those eligible to participate to its larger partnered websites (those with a minimum of 20 million page views per month).

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ePilotTM

ePilot, the PPC search engine arm of Interchange Corporation, concentrates on a system of referrals (which they sometimes still call affiliates) and partnerships for their advertisers, rather than an affiliate program like Google, where you serve up ads on your own website.

ePilot’s referral program is very easy to understand and participate in. For each advertiser that you refer to the search engine that is accepted, you will receive a commission equal to 10 percent of the total initial deposit made by that advertiser, as long as the deposit is over $99.99.

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The Response of Search Engines to Click Fraud

We’ve spoken briefly about PPC search engines and how they have responded to various incidents of click fraud.

Not all search engines have programs in place that routinely check ad accounts for warning signs of click fraud, but more and more are instituting such programs in light of the increasing incidence of click fraud and pressure from their advertisers to deal with the problem.

The two largest search engines, Google and Yahoo, both have publicly admitted that click fraud is a problem that is a significant threat, not just to their “business model,” but to their overall success.

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Yahoo Search Marketing

The Yahoo Search Marketing affiliate and partnership program is not very visible on their website, and is usually limited to very large websites.

The affiliate program is in fact a referral program, where you receive a certain amount of money for referring other websites to some of the Yahoo Search Marketing PPC advertising products.

You receive $80 for each Sponsored Search Fast Track referral, $20 for Sponsored Search Self Serve referrals, and $20 for Local Match referrals.

If your volume of sales increases significantly, your commission may likewise be increased.

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Google

The Google affiliate program (Google AdSense) offers ads placed on your website along one side or via a Google search box on your site.

There is no additional cost to join Google AdSense, and you can opt out of content search if you wish.

Once you provide the relevant information to Google, there is usually a 2-3 day turnaround period (mostly for them to verify and check out your website) to be approved. You can terminate the relationship at any time.

Although you receive a percentage of the revenue that each click on these ads or the search box generates, Google does not disclose what that percentage is.

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Affiliate, Referral, and Partnership Opportunities

Another aspect of pay-per-click advertising is the opportunity to actually transform it into a moneymaking enterprise for yourself.

Search engines offer affiliate programs, referral programs, and partnership opportunities that are not restricted to only those who use their advertising services.

Almost anyone with a website can become an affiliate (often now called “referrer”) or partner with a number of pay-per-click search engines.

Basically, via these type of programs, you allow the search engine to place advertising of some kind on your website in exchange for a payment made each time a visitor to your website clicks on one of the ads or conducts an online search using the PPC search engine’s box that is placed on your homepage.

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Detecting Click Fraud

Some telltale signs of click fraud are quite obvious, while others take a little more tracking and analysis to identify.

Many PPC search engines have programs in place to audit for click fraud, but it is a good policy to periodically took at your traffic logs, or perhaps consider using a third-party tool to analyze the data further.

The main things to look for in your ad campaign’s statistics are:

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WordTracker

WordTracker bills itself as “the ultimate tool to increase your website traffic,” and in this case, they may be right.

A product of Rivergold Associates Ltd., it is definitely a research tool that every PPC advertiser needs to be acquainted with.

At the very least, take advantage of their free trial to see the power behind this product. If you are just beginning to use PPC, the free trial may offer you enough to get you started. You can subscribe later, when your campaign needs to be changed.

WordTracker is a subscription-based product that specializes in reporting the relative popularity and positioning of keywords.

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