Website Services Managing Editor Pete Prestipino had an opportunity to speak with 7Search.com's Director of Internet Operations Gemma Piscotti to find out more about 7Search position within the PPC industry, the most frequent challenges to new advertisers, how 7Search differentiates itself from its competition as well as its growth plans.
WSM: Tell me a little about 7Search.com's position within the PPC industry?
Piscotti: 7Search has been around since 1999 and since then has developed into a very competitive PPC industry player. We're currently serving advertiser results to well over one billion searches per month and that number is growing each and every month. We're frequently considered a mid-market player behind Yahoo! and Google and often in line with other similar providers such as Enhance, Miva, SearchFeed, etc.
WSM: What are the most frequent challenges of new advertisers and affiliates getting started in the realm of PPC?
Piscotti: Well, besides choosing which PPC's to work with, there are actually not too many challenges facing advertisers or affiliates. All pay per click search engines over time have learned that ease of system use is of primary importance to keeping both audiences actively using your services. For advertisers though the main challenge is finding the bid point at which their advertising becomes effective for them. In the past, bid prices were so low that you could essentially jump into the listings with the highest bid and have a profitable campaign without too much planning. These days, in many respects thanks to improved measurement practices, advertisers are increasingly employing strategic bidding in their PPC advertising campaigns, which (while requiring more work and a different skill set) results in paying less per click and overall a better return on investment.
WSM: Who is your greatest competition and what differentiates you from them?
Piscotti: Obviously, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google Adwords. They are also, however, our greatest "silent partner" if you will thanks to the quantity of traffic they deliver to our partner sites. What makes 7Search different is its network of affiliates. They have an extensive network but so do we which albeit consists of smaller players but en masse they produce phenomenal results for our advertisers.
WSM: How does 7Search plan to grow in the future?
Piscotti: 7Search has plans to continue its steady growth over the next several years. We rely in great part on our ability to identify quality partners and develop mutually beneficial relationships with them. By expanding into additional vertical markets, our advertisers discover additional traffic sources which is how we have grown in the past and how we will grow in the future.