Do any 2nd tier PPC engines still work?

About 3 years ago (a lifetime in Internet Marketing) I did an experiment testing 13 PPC sources.  So much has changed since then.  Many of the services have dropped away, while new sources of social display ads like Facebook have exploded on to the scene.  The big 3, Google, Yahoo, and Bing have all streamlined their systems and become much easier to use.  But there is still a need for smaller traffic sources in certain cases.

Do any of the smaller 2nd tier PPC networks still work in 2010?   Yes, but only a select few will actually produce positive ROIs in our testing.  These are the 3 that I am still using to this day for certain campaigns, both network CPA stuff and local.   The traffic volume is lower so these will never be a primary traffic source for a campaign, but if the traffic is good, every little bit helps with the bottom line.


7search traffic converts very well in my experience.  The volume is low, but on a ROI basis, I actually see a better return on 7 search traffic than Google Adwords or even Bing.  Setup is simple and there are no quality score concerns.  Targeting is country based, not down to the city level, so its not suitable for local campaigns.  I’ve had 7 search campaigns running continuously for years now.


Miva can generate a decent volume of clicks and their network has a large reach.  The interface is good and conversions are solid for some niches.  You can get an account rep that will take care of a lot of the setup for you and even let you do “run of the network” campaigns.


Ask has almost all the features that Yahoo or Bing have including bulk uploads, conversion tracking, dayparting, and local targeting down to the zip code.   The traffic is relatively cheap and does convert for certain niches.  Geo-targeting is effective and can be used for national or local lead gen campaigns.

That’s about it, those are the only 2nd tier PPC services that I can recommend these days.  If you have others that are currently working well, please let me know!

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Posted in 2nd Tier PPC, General by cdfnetworks on 05|13|10
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Comment by Profit Addiction
2010-05-13 16:17:45

Thanks Chad. I actually haven’t tested those, but I will definitely keep those in mind. Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Matt
2010-05-21 05:10:32

Hey Chad,
I used miva and ask a long time ago, they were dreadful, but i guess it does depend on niche. Might have to try again.

Did you find that stuff that worked in Miva, also worked in Ask? or was it just different niches working in different engines.


Comment by Warren Woodward
2010-05-25 19:12:41

Thanks for the article. Hard to find good new info on search these days. I came back from AdTech with a huge pile of 2nd/3rd tier search providers to check out and this helped me prioritize them a bit. I have to say though, if you test, beware there auto-refill billing option!

Comment by Hard Laptop Cases
2010-05-31 18:37:55

I remember trying out various 2nd tier PPC networks years ago too. I just didn’t have proper tracking setup to know which ones were worth continuing. I should probably look into this again and get some other streams of traffic coming in.

Comment by Earl Grey
2010-06-06 06:00:49

7 search has been very profitable for me in the gambling space

Comment by Cancer Hospital
2010-06-09 11:34:57

I am newbie in PPC but i wanna improve my knowledge about it. Thanks for sharing good information.

Comment by martin loh
2010-06-09 17:15:53

Any idea how to clean up those junk partners in 7search?

2010-06-09 23:10:31

Wow, I remember people recommending quite a few more than what you have listed. Good to know there are still some second tier engines that are still working for PPC. I haven’t done much recently so I am sort of out of touch…

Comment by jack
2010-06-10 09:59:55

i have tried Miva and Ask. Ask is totally a piece of shit. Miva still ok.

Comment by Hard Laptop Cases
2010-06-23 20:27:21

I’m sure as competition heats up the lower end sites will come down in price. People will be focusing most of their efforts on Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, etc. It’s the less saturated markets where people can get better advertising deals.

Comment by Bidet
2010-07-12 16:55:49

I have tried using Facebook and Google but I never tried these ones before. Thanks for sharing them.

Comment by Checking Accounts
2010-07-26 19:03:53

The only one I’ve heard of was The other two are totally unfamiliar. Most people really just stick with google, yahoo, or bing. I just don’t think you can expect much revenue out of any of those sites.

Comment by sell used textbooks
2010-08-12 13:38:24

I came back from AdTech with a huge pile of 2nd/3rd tier search providers to check out and this helped me prioritize them a bit. But I am still wondering which one I should go with.

Comment by Tommy
2010-08-26 20:25:40

I’ve just joined 7search.
Any tips?
Any type of offers which works there?

Comment by
2010-09-20 17:36:32

can you tell us what niches convert for these? in particular you mention about Ask “does convert for certain niches”.

Comment by Liezl
2010-10-29 05:45:54

Hi Mr. Chad,

Great post! You seem to be an expert in using 2nd-tier PPC networks. :-)

I just want to ask if 7Search and Miva have some sort of bulk upload function, either a file or a program, which advertisers can use to easily import/upload campaign details to their accounts?

Something similar to the Bulk Editor for Google AdWords?



Comment by peugeot 106
2010-11-03 15:09:17

thanks for sharing, i hav`nt tryed yet, its really helps me
i will coment after it

till then


2010-12-08 08:34:03

Most optimization tips and instructional guides cover the big 3 of PPC search engines, Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Comment by Onlineshop fuer SEO
2011-08-25 09:06:18

This is a great web page, might you be interested in doing an interview about just how you created it? If so e-mail me!

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