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Old 02-14-2005   #1
danielanaidu
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What 2nd tier SEM/PPC sites are worth using?

I have been using Google and Overture for a couple of months, and want to start using second tier search engines to supplement my traffic at a lower CPC (and hopefully lower cost per conversion). I recently started using Enhance.com, but have not yet gotten a single conversion (I get about 10% conversion or better on Google and Overture). What other ones are worth trying? Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-14-2005   #2
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Personally I have found 2nd tier PPC SEs to be a waste of money. Some people have success with them, but the majority of post I see when this subject comes up is most don't.

The only way you can know for sure how it will work for you is to test it. I would do it one SE at a time. Set up a small initial budget. Track it and see if there is a ROI.
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Old 02-14-2005   #3
Peter
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It's impossible to say without a better understanding of what business you're in and what you're trying to accomplish with your search marketing.

Generally speaking though, some of the general Tier II's (e.g. FindWhat, Looksmart, Lycos, etc) are probably worth a test. If you're tracking the performance of each engine, there's not a whole lot of downside to it. And you may be able to find pockets of profitable traffic across them.

Of course, there are also the "vertical" engines -- we've had quite a bit of success with many of them. They include:

Shopping engines: Shopping.com, Bizrate, PriceGrabber, etc.
B2B engines: Business.com, Industry Brains
Travel engines: SideStep, Kayak, Quigo

Overall, the idea is to match your goals against the appropriate engine(s).
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Old 02-14-2005   #4
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Quote:
What other ones are worth trying?
First a conusing answer, then an explaination: all and none.

IMHO, 2nd tier PPCs are not as likely to yield better cost per conversion. That is because the value of a click there is often lower than on a major portal / SE.

IMHO, if you believe that you have rung every ounce out of Google and Overtur, then the 2nd tier can be worth investigating. However, for the click volumes and with the required tracking, it can often be an ROI negative experiment. Your time needs to be factored into the cost, and small traffic, few conversions and a lot of monitoring are a bad combination, IMHO.

YMMV, but in general, there is usually more to be wrung from the big two than from starting 2nd tier campaigns, specialist niche verticals aside, and other online marketing channels may, at this point, have better ROI than tier II PPC.
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Old 02-15-2005   #5
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I'm pretty sure Kanoodle still offers a $5 credit to your account for when signing up, and you can get pretty reasonable prices on some good keywords. But as noted above, the traffic volume will naturally be lower with these engines.

But at least you get a $5 credit and can give it a free test run and see how you do. Most likely it wouldn't cost as much to test it out once the $$$ initally runs out. Worth a try.
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Old 02-17-2005   #6
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I do not do a ton of PPC but hear that FindWhat can be ok and that LookSmart generally is not. LookSmart was bad when I tried it near the end of last year.
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Old 02-17-2005   #7
danielanaidu
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Experience with Enhance PPC

After over 80 visitors with Enhance, I still have had no conversions (compared to over 10% conversion rate on Google and Overture). I have also started to try Kanoodle (they give $10 free clicks), but it's too early to report anything. So far, so disappointing.

Last edited by danielanaidu : 02-17-2005 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 02-17-2005   #8
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Bump! I too am looking into 2nd teirs for supplemental traffic at lower CPCs. I totaly agree that it is dangerous to get into the formula of a lot of time spent micro managing the smaller CPC's for little vollume of conversion.

Sigh. Anyone have any experience with Search Feed? I think an important aspect would have to be tracking to conversion and I know that Kanoodle and eilot don't have these.
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Old 02-20-2005   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi9771
Anyone have any experience with Search Feed? I think an important aspect would have to be tracking to conversion and I know that Kanoodle and eilot don't have these.
i have been told both good and bad things about them. only way to really know is test them. it depends on the origination of your traffic and their quality / intent / filtering.

many people also track conversions with third party software for a nominal monthly fee.
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Old 02-24-2005   #10
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A little more light on tier 2

So you can relate to the type of advertising we do, our business is focused on lead generation for the debt and mortgage industry. (no really, we're nice guys putting forth ethical ads for established companies!)

I can't tell you how right ProjectPHP is! Listen to his/her advice. We have been running ads on Google and Overture for a number of years and we continue to learn new techniques to improve our ads, keywords, tracking etc.
Our lead volume and quality continues to grow beyond our wildest expectations and I don't believe we even scratched the surface of all that we can out of these two networks.

We took our eye off the ball a few times and tried:
Looksmart - Disaster
Enhance - disaster
Kanoodle - disaster
ePilot - Poor

We thought that if we converted at even half of our current conversion rate we could almost triple our volume.. the conversions were under 1%!!!! Same ads, same landing pages......pure crapola.

We did get some degree of success with:
Lycos
Find What
But, I caution, as soon as we upped our daily budget to over 1k it was gone faster than a Barry Bonds Balco Bomber over left field. So we now keep our bids extremely low and our daily budget under $250 to achieve our target conversion price point.

Bottom line: Read these forums to avoid the mistakes we have made, focus on Google then Overture, and get everything you can out of them before you try any tier 2 players.

Cheers,

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Old 03-04-2005   #11
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Almost half/major portion of the traffic even on major Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Solution is Junk, but there are only a few providers who try to keep it minimal.

Here's a list according to my experience in this scene so far :

Overture - 10-15 % Junk Traffic
Google - 15-20 % Junk Traffic
Roar/DarkBlue/PageSeeker - 20-25 % Junk Traffic
eSpotting - 25-30% Junk Traffic
LookSmart, ah-ha (enhance) - 70-80 % Junk Traffic
Kanoodle, ePilot, SearchFeed etc..- 80-90 % Junk Traffic
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Old 04-06-2005   #12
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Just curious as to your definition of "junk traffic." Is that just traffic that you think has no chance of converting? And does the junk traffic come from similar sites/publishers? I'm trying to figure out how to triangulate on quality traffic.
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Old 04-06-2005   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphamale5000
Just curious as to your definition of "junk traffic." Is that just traffic that you think has no chance of converting? And does the junk traffic come from similar sites/publishers? I'm trying to figure out how to triangulate on quality traffic.
In all probability, Junk Traffic is inhuman (Bot) traffic, but yes, a very little portion includes those genuine clicks that doesn't convert.
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Old 04-07-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qal
In all probability, Junk Traffic is inhuman (Bot) traffic, but yes, a very little portion includes those genuine clicks that doesn't convert.
Bot traffic meaning bots set up to create fradulent clicks or spiders of some other sort?

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 04-07-2005   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphamale5000
Bot traffic meaning bots set up to create fradulent clicks or spiders of some other sort?
Yes, large portion of fradulents clicks produced from bots are of Chinese Users. They use Bots and they've click farms as well.

Apparently, 90% of that 'junk traffic' produced, either by bots or by genuine non-converting clicks (Click Farm) is from Chinese Users mainly, followed by Poland.
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Old 04-08-2005   #16
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Bunch of frauds - 2nd tier CPC networks

Sadly, I've found this to be true as well. I recently did a major test of these 2nd tier CPC networks, and they purported to deliver massive clicks that never reached my site. Some of the clues included enormous volumes of clicks on keywords that I KNOW are very unusual and don't get many clicks even on the big networks. Also getting hundreds of clicks a day from each of these networks when my site only gets about a hundred clicks total was a big giveaway. Waste of money, and a blatant fraud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qal
Almost half/major portion of the traffic even on major Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Solution is Junk, but there are only a few providers who try to keep it minimal.

Here's a list according to my experience in this scene so far :

Overture - 10-15 % Junk Traffic
Google - 15-20 % Junk Traffic
Roar/DarkBlue/PageSeeker - 20-25 % Junk Traffic
eSpotting - 25-30% Junk Traffic
LookSmart, ah-ha (enhance) - 70-80 % Junk Traffic
Kanoodle, ePilot, SearchFeed etc..- 80-90 % Junk Traffic
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Old 04-08-2005   #17
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I've had some limited success with Mirago and Wholesale 411
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Old 05-16-2005   #18
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Update: ePilot/Kanoodle

I thought I would share my experience thus far...typical conversions on google/overture are over 30%.

Recently launched a campaign on ePilot and Kanoodle, and am cross tracking my results with Google's cross channel feature to do this. Google's cross tracking reporting is showing a number of visits that is between 40-55% LESS than what my Kanoodle and ePilot visits are showing. That seems like a BIG difference, all things considered. Plus....NO conversions on ePilot, and only 1.5% on Kanoodle...compared to the 30% conversions we were seeing with Overture/Google.

I think I will let the money run out it's course in the account with ePilot and Kanoodle and end the campaign with them.

I still would like to try second teir CPC...hopefuly more people can chime in with their experiences on which ones are REAL traffic!
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Old 06-08-2005   #19
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Tried eSpotting

A little more credible, but still no where near as comparable conversions that we get from Overture and Google...wasn't cost effective enough to continue!
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Old 06-08-2005   #20
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For the junk traffic resulting from bots, do search engines not track that? So basically theres no way to tell if its an actual person or some sort of software?
Thanks
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