The 10 PPC Network Smackdown

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
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.

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Posted in Adwords, MSN Adcenter, PPC Smackdown, Pay Per Click, Yahoo by cdfnetworks on 12|17|06
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Comment by Haji
2006-12-17 22:15:17

Thank you, this is some good info!

Comment by PPC Keyword Tool
2006-12-19 19:21:34

Thats a nice summary, thanks. (I saw your post over on wickedfire)

Comment by Md
2006-12-27 04:10:27

I’d say this is the real good info for all internet marketing professionals.

Comment by Keith
2007-01-06 18:19:12

Nice! I was looking at looksmart..guess I’ll give it a try now!

Comment by Keith
2007-01-06 18:19:59

I will say, Miva is complete crap…how did it rate the same as google!?By a LONG shot, google isour best source

Comment by chris
2008-04-04 17:59:04

That helps. i was hearing a lot of good things about msn from others. goclick looks they just shut down, stop displaying my test ads poof!

2008-04-04 18:01:24

i heard good things about msn from several experts recently. also goclick i think just dried up.

Comment by Franck
2008-11-27 18:11:51

It’s awesome. I’ve started ppc with MSN. I am good at seo, but I don’t know why I can’t get ppc to work for me.

MSN allows me to test my skills. I’m not good at all.

It may be my niche?


Comment by Kaustubh
2009-01-06 08:33:48

Really nice information.This will help me lot.

Comment by Kelvin Chan
2009-02-25 03:57:37

What can I do but agree?

MSN Adcenter has proved to be real gold by providing high ROI%.

Test, test and test! :)

Comment by Nico
2009-03-18 14:00:57

talking about PPC networks, anybody knows any international PPC comparison shopping XML feeds?

Comment by Adverfix
2009-03-18 14:05:39

this is a nice table. its weird to see that MSN is higher ranked than Google.
and Miva is very bad, in my experience.

Comment by yardy
2009-03-19 12:55:26

I agree with Keith, Miva traffic is scrap only

Comment by ajblade
2009-04-16 15:35:40

i have tried clicksor and adonion they are great

test test test

Comment by Kyle T
2009-07-26 06:23:35

Adverfix, I agree. What about the smaller PPC networks. I have had better luck with those since they are more oriented to MY niche on the web. Currently, I use CopaClick and Chitika.

Comment by Dont Click Me
2009-09-03 18:28:47

google is total scam thay band most of there publisher
only some big fishes able to get from them

Comment by Monster Games
2009-09-21 15:59:10


Great site here, this is exactly what i was looking for, didnt know there was so many lol, It is true though google is always thought of as the biggest so the traffic score isnt suprising.


Comment by Guna
2009-10-14 16:25:33

Its a good table.
I feel Google is very dominating and controlling. Its a piece of crap and monopolistic. I want to try MSN.
Thanks for the post.

Comment by purwanto
2009-11-14 03:16:27

thanks for your info. google is too expensive to me. I want to try another, maybe MSN or the other network, let me see..

Comment by Anthony
2009-12-08 21:32:25

I’ve seen great results through adMarketplace recently.

Comment by seo web developer
2010-01-28 03:11:28

What about 7search? They have ads out there and I was wondering what they can do. I’m looking to complement our SEO campaigns and this is great info.

Comment by hakan
2010-04-22 12:42:14

Thanks thats realy good info.

Comment by cbwd
2010-05-25 22:21:48

thats intresting there, does this include the EU, or is this just for the US?

Comment by Darren
2010-06-07 17:57:12

Really good info, just starting out in PPC thinking of using msn as google is to expensive for me.

Comment by Ramir
2010-07-09 15:56:16

Hey Everyone,

Do not advertise with looksmart. Looksmart will charge your credit card even though you have a coupon. I was sent a voucher for $50 dollars to advertise with looksmart. They will charge your credit card even when the voucher has not depleted.

Comment by Larry
2010-07-19 16:54:55

While working with large PPC/CPA network, you’re often pushed aside or ignored due to the volume of users they have, in my experience the best gains will usually come from working with a smaller network, they tend to pay better by a large margin and provided you have a good one, they will provide you with plenty of affiliates and ads to promote.

I prefer to work with CPA Dough, and Chaseclicks, (CPA and PPC respectively)they both have a very good return and always had ads for me to push. As a tier 2 network, they actually have really good traffic volume and quality and a huge selection of profitable offers.

Comment by js lee
2010-08-30 14:08:01

Google click prices are incredibly high in my niche. 7search is cheap but does not deliver. Same for ask. Has anyone tried adbrite for a long enough period?

Comment by Rafting Tarom
2011-04-10 17:47:39

I see that this post is from 2006. Is there any update of this comparison to find?

Comment by Oliver Granville
2011-05-23 15:46:13

This is indeed an older post. Personally, I have been finding the most luck with Google, and 7search. Google has the most volume+quality, but it super expensive. is much more affordable and has a really good handle on the quality of their network. 7search has good quality but low volume.

Comment by Money Game
2011-05-28 12:13:03

Even search engine traffic from MSN has better conversion rato than Google and Yahoo. Only problem is we get very little traffic from it. I have to start a project and see how good MSN Ad center works.

Comment by FS eBiz
2011-08-29 15:59:05

You need to update this page soon :)

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