The 13 Pay Per Click Network Challenge

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About the test:

In January of this year, I posted my extensive test results of 12 PPC networks. Since 8 months is an eternity in affiliate marketing, I decided to revisit this test with a brand new niche and see who performed best and worst. I also added 1 more network, Ask.com, into the mix. The test ran for most of the month of August, and it took me the last 10 days to really analyze the data. Please don’t ask what the offer or niche was, I still need to make a living guys! The keyword list and ads were kept as close as possible on all the different networks. Some minor changes had to be made based on ad copy length restrictions. All landing pages were identical. Bid prices were adjusted to try to keep ad positions as close as possible throughout the duration of the test.

Scoring system:

I rated each network on 3 criteria. Traffic, conversions, and pricing. I had a scoring framework for the different point levels, but obviously some subjective decisions were made in determining each score. Traffic and concerversion rate were given the highest weight, and click pricing was give half weight.

• Traffic Volume (Highest volume = 10 out of possible 10)
• Conversion Rate (Best conversion rate = 10 out of possible 10)
• Click Pricing (Lowest pricing = 5 out of possible 5)

For a best possible total score of 25

The Results:

PPC Network Traffic
Volume
Conversion
Rate
Click
Pricing
Total
Score
Yahoo 8 8 3 19
MSN 6 8 3 17
Google 10 6 1 17
Looksmart 3 7 4 14
ASK 3 5 4 12
Miva 2 5 4 11
Searchfeed 3 4 3 10
Adbrite 2 2 4 8
7Search 1 2 5 8
Enhance 1 1 5 7
Kanoodle 1 1 5 7
Search 123 1 1 4 6
Bidvertiser 1 1 4 6

Overall Winner:

Yahoo came out on top. With their strong traffic volume, and strong conversions, Yahoo surged to past rivals MSN and Google. Their moderately priced traffic and more lenient quality score (compared to Adwords) also helped Yahoo grab the top spot.

Traffic Volume Winner:

No suprise that Google Adwords is the leader in this category. As the king of search and a 2/3 market share for most keyword searches, they reign supreme as the volume leader.

Conversion Rate Winner:

Yahoo and MSN tied for the top conversion rates. The traffic from both of theses networks continues to convert better than Google for most of the niches we have tested. This may be surprising to some, but our data clearly shows big G behind the other 2. Also notable, Looksmart produced strong conversion rates.

Recommended list:

Based on the test results, these are the networks that I would consider testing any offer on:

• MSN
• Yahoo
• Google
• ASK
• Looksmart
• Miva

Avoid list!

These are the networks that are probably not worth your time. But you never know until you test!

• Adbrite
• 7Search
• Enhance
• Kanoodle
• Searchfeed
• Search 123
• Bidvertiser

Want to test these for yourself?  Check out these PPC coupons for some free seed money.

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, General, PPA, PPC Smackdown, Pay Per Click by cdfnetworks on 18|09|07
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12 Pay Per Click Networks Tested and Rated

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This is an update to the first Pay Per Click Network challenge of a few weeks ago. There is new data, new PPC networks included, and a new scoring system based on everyone’s input from the last one. Hopefully it will be even more helpful now.

To review:

These networks were all tested running the same PPC campaign (meaning the keywords and the ad texts were the same) to an affiliate offer with the exact same landing page.

Scoring system:

I threw out the interface rating as many people thought it skewed the results of bad performing networks that had a good interface. I agree that performance is king and if something converts well I can live with a bad interface (MSN, cough, cough). Now the scoring is based on 3 factors with 2 being double weighted. This should more accurately show the total performance of a PPC network.

• Traffic Volume (Highest volume = 10 out of possible 10)
• Conversion Rate (Best conversion rate = 10 out of possible 10)
• Click Pricing (Lowest pricing = 5 out of possible 5)

For a possible total score of 30

The Results:

PPC Network Traffic
Volume
Conversion
Rate
Click
Pricing
Total
Score
MSN 6 9 4 19
Yahoo 8 7 3 18
Google 10 7 1 18
Searchfeed 6 6 3 15
Looksmart 3 7 4 14
Miva 2 6 4 12
Adbrite 2 2 4 8
7Search 1 2 5 8
Enhance 1 1 5 7
Kanoodle 1 1 5 7
Search 123 1 1 4 6
Bidvertiser 1 1 4 6

Traffic Volume Winner:

As always Google is king of traffic volume. The only thing that keeps it from the overall leader is its stiff click pricing.

Conversion Rate Winner:

MSN is the tops for conversions. Too bad their volume isn’t up to Google or Yahoo’s levels.

Recommended:
• MSN
• Yahoo
• Google
• Searchfeed
• Looksmart
• Miva

Stay Away!
• Adbrite
• 7Search
• Enhance
• Kanoodle
• Search 123
• Bidvertiser

Remember these results are based on my campaign and niche, your results may vary wildly.

Posted in Adwords, MSN Adcenter, PPC Smackdown, Pay Per Click, Yahoo by cdfnetworks on 15|01|07
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Searchfeed and Miva impressed me lately

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So I had dropped my campaigns with Searchfeed and Miva a while ago. Searchfeed conversion rates just started dropping, and also their GEO-targeting started getting really off. I take random samplings of GEO accuracy and one day in mid December it just took a big nosedive. It was disappointing too, because SF used to be a very strong converting PPC source for me. I ended up emailing them with a spreadsheet of my stats and explaining what happened. To my surprise, less than a day later, they refunded me almost $1,000 in clicks for December and wanted me to give them another shot. Since I resumed my campaigns they seem to be back on track.

I had tested Miva in the past and the conversions were just not there, so I stopped using them. Then my account rep called me last week offering me free matching clicks to try them again on their new “precision” network. Well, I am never one to turn down free money so I fired up a campaign with them for more testing. I was pretty impressed at their effort to retain me as a customer.

These results will be included in a new and improved PPC Smackdown 2.0 that I will be putting together at the end of this month. Stay tuned!

Posted in PPC Smackdown, Pay Per Click by cdfnetworks on 10|01|07
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The 10 PPC Network Smackdown

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I have found it really hard to find objective information about different Pay Per Click (PPC) networks, especially second tier networks. If you pose the question in a forum, the response will usually be something like “XYZ sucks”, which isn’t too helpful as far as hard data is concerned. So I decided to run my own, somewhat scientific test of PPC networks. Here is what happened.

About the test

I chose a set of ads and keywords that were proven to do well on Google Adwords for these tests. I won’t say the niche (competition is tough enough already), but it’s about a mid-range set of keywords as far as monthly impressions and click pricing. The minimum spent at each PPC network was $50, with most of the test running in the $100-$300 range. If it was clear the traffic was not going to convert, I cut the test short, but if it showed some promise I let it run for a while.

After examining the results, I assigned a score between 1 and 5, with 5 being the highest, to each of these 5 categories:

  • Traffic Volume (Highest volume = 5)
  • Conversion Rate (Best conversion rate = 5)
  • Click Pricing (Lowest pricing = 5)
  • Keyword Competition (Lowest competition = 5)
  • Interface ease of use (Easiest to use = 5)

After totaling up the scores, each PPC network was given a final score. Winners for each category and an overall winner were chosen, based on the scores.

The 10 networks tested

  • Google Adwords
  • Yahoo Search Marketing (Panama system)
  • MSN Adcenter
  • Adbrite
  • Miva
  • Searchfeed
  • Kanoodle
  • Enhance
  • Looksmart
  • Search123

The Results

PPC Network Traffic
Volume
Conversion
Rate
Click
Pricing
Keyword
Competition
Interface
Use
Average Score
MSN 3 5 5 4 3 4
Looksmart 3 4 4 4 4 3.8
Searchfeed 3 4 4 4 3 3.8
Google 5 3 3 1 5 3.4
Yahoo 4 4 3 2 4 3.4
Miva 2 2 5 4 4 3.4
Adbrite 3 1 5 4 4 3.4
Enhance 1 3 5 5 3 3.2
Search 123 1 1 4 5 2 2.8
Kanoodle 1 1 5 5 3 2.8

Category Winners

Traffic Volume:

Not a big surprise here, the king of Traffic is Google by a long shot.

Conversion Rate:

MSN takes the prize for the best conversion rate. Adcenter’s traffic converted about 10% better than the closest competitor.

Click Pricing:

The lower traffic networks are always going to have the cheapest clicks, so we have a 5 way tie here between MSN, Miva, Adbrite, Enhance, and Kanoodle.

Keyword Competition:

Keywords were easy to buy with little to no competition on Enhance, Kanoodle, and Search 123.

Interface ease of use:

Google reigns supreme again in the interface department. Their continually improving web interface along with its offline Adwords editor make it tough to beat. Although the new Yahoo Panama system is a close second and gaining quickly.

Overall Winner:

The winner of the smackdown is MSN. Their strong placing for conversions and click pricing, coupled with a decent traffic volume puts them in the number one spot. A surprisingly strong second place tie goes to Searchfeed and Looksmart. Their low click pricing, and low competition helped them edge out some of the Tier 1 heavyweights in the field.

Although the undisputed kings of volume, Google and Yahoo were hit hard by their higher pricing and extreme keyword competition.

Keep in mind these results were for one specific niche and keyword group, your results may vary wildly.

Posted in Adwords, MSN Adcenter, PPC Smackdown, Pay Per Click, Yahoo by cdfnetworks on 17|12|06
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