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Pay Per Click Tools


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mouse click is a helpful source for pay per click tools and search engines information.  On this site, you'll find a conceptual overview of pay per click search advertising as well as lists of popular search engine, keyword, and bid management tools for quickly and efficiently building your web site traffic.  The search engine review matrix details performance and features for several of the most widely used pay per click search engines and advertising systems.

In the left column are links to some of the more popular and well-designed tools.  For your convenience, each link opens a new window.  We hope you'll find our site helpful when evaluating the resources available in this expanding field.

pay-per-click advertising word cloud
This pay-per-click tag cloud depicts terms that are often associated with pay-per-click advertising.

Pay Per Click versus Pay Per Impression

'Pay per click' and 'pay per impression' are two distinct approaches to online advertising.  'Pay per click' (or 'cost per click') tools bring targeted traffic to a web site quickly and efficiently, whereas 'Pay per impression' tools can help build brand recognition.  The former charge advertisers for web site visitors; the latter charge advertisers for message displays.

The following table summarizes the key differences between the two advertising approaches:

  Pay Per Click Pay Per Impression
Primary Objective Build Web Site Traffic Build Brand Name
Media Exposure Search Engine Results Web Page Banners
Cost per visitor Low to medium High
Cost per impression Medium to high Low
Pros Predictable cost
per visitor
Predictable cost
per impression
Cons Time-consuming
bid management
Costly for targeted
products and services

Pay per click search engines enable web site advertisers to enter and bid for listing position on relevant keywords and/or "key phrases" — also known as "search terms."  For each URL (or search terms in some instances), a title and a description or promotional message is specified.  Typically, a title may be up to 30 or 40 characters in length, and a description or promotional message may be up to 150 or 200 characters in length.  In some cases, a logo may also be specified.

What Makes A Good Pay Per Click Search Engine?

An effective pay per click search engine efficiently connects consumers and producers of information, products, and services — thereby benefiting both web surfers and advertisers.

For web surfers, it should offer:

  • fast, relevant, unique search results.
  • a fast-loading home page, free of advertising clutter.
  • no horizontal scroll bar at 800 x 600 resolution.
  • minimal advertising clutter on search result pages.

For advertisers, it should offer:

  • a prepaid advertising account.
  • an efficient, user-friendly bid management interface.
  • reasonable numbers of targeted web site visitors.
  • editorial review for submitted search listings.
A pay per click search engine which meets these criteria can expect to attract both web surfers and advertisers.

Do Pay Per Click Search Engines Provide Reports?

Pay per click search engines generally provide some form of client activity reporting and some means of detecting abuse, but Ronald Reagan's adage, "Trust, but verify", applies here as well.  SuperStats is an excellent tracking service which audits your web site visitor patterns, including search term and search engine referrals.

Do Pay Per Click Listings Appear Immediately?

Some pay per click search engines review listings for content quality and keyword relevance before releasing them to search engine users; others display advertiser listings immediately.  But even in the former case, listings generally appear within a few business days.

Why Are Pay Per Click Tools Popular?

Pay per click search engines have been around for several years, with Microsoft's adCenter and's Adwords being the best-known.  But their popularity as web site promotion tools continues to grow because it is increasingly difficult to achieve good listing positions in the organic, or editorial, search engine results.

Pay per click search engines often include organic listings after their paid listings, and mainstream search engines increasingly are including results from pay per click search engines along with their free, organic listings.  Indeed, several major portals, including Yahoo, Bing, America Online, and Altavista now feature Microsoft or Google advertising listings in their search results.  Furthermore, traffic generated via pay per click search engines makes a web site more popular, and may indirectly help improve its ranking in the organic search results!


In today's competitive e-commerce environment, the use of carefully chosen pay per click search engines, search terms, and bid positions must be considered as part of a well-planned marketing strategy.

Pay Per Action Alternatives

Pay per click advertising is, of course, only one alternative in the increasingly popular "pay per action" marketing field.  As visitor tracking systems become more sophisticated, two other online advertising models have been developed:  "pay per lead" and "pay per sale".  These models, often called "affiliate marketing", can offer advertisers valuable exposure on a range of relevant websites and offer website publishers an opportunity to generate revenue from their resource sites.  Our vertical market directories feature examples of these approaches and offer a selection of targeted marketing opportunities.

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