Yes, we get it, Google does everything. Ask an affiliate marketer what they think the best Pay-Per-Click (PPC) program available is and they'll likely say Google AdSense.
Why? Because it's free, easy-to-use and comes with a very popular and proven name attached to it. And while AdSense is a great program, it's also expensive and it's not necessarily for everyone, so what are some of the alternatives out there?
Many other PPC programs offer things like a return on investment (ROI), faster payments and other features that rival or surpass Google's product. But with dozens upon dozens of different options out there, where does an affiliate start to look for the PPC program that is right for them? Well, at Website Magazine, of course!
Without further ado, here are five non-Google AdSense PPC programs to consider:
Bidvertiser As the name suggests, this is an auction-based PPC program. Payouts with Bidvertiser are based on an advertiser's bid for your ad space, as opposed to things like keyword popularity. This makes it possible for more popular sites to make more money than their unpopular counterparts who use the same keywords. The upside here is that flash, low content or other application-heavy sites that are typically difficult to crawl much easier to monetize.
AdBrite One of Google's biggest competitors in the field is AdBrite, largely because they accept many sites that Google doesn't, making it the sort of go-to program if you're rejected by AdSense. This PPC and Pay-Per-Impression (PPI) program rakes in over 330 million impressions and operates on approximately 100,000 websites. Members get paid based on how many clicks an ad gets or how many times an ad is viewed. Sites are monetized by AdBrite when the company pulls ads from top brands, keywords, demographics, location and over visitor targeting metrics. It's also free to sign up.
7Search 7Search, though smaller in their reach than Google, has one of, if not the, highest ROI measures in the industry based on their high quality search traffic sources. They provide solid analysis, such as letting you see how many searches were done on each of your keywords in the last month and then comparing those numbers to how many clickthroughs you got and where you're ranked. You can then see what happens if you raise or lower your bid. 7Search provides affiliates with multiple opprotunities to for revenue through their affiliate program such as standard and white label search boxes, Pay-Per-Text, an advertiser referral program, AccessoryAds and XML partnerships with other search engines, portals and directories. They also proudly claim to pay affiliates faster than any other ad network, with those who earn just $25 a month receiving their chekcs in the first ten days of the following month. Having operated since 1999 means that 7Search is a tried and tested network for affiliate marketers.
Ad:Dynamo This PPC program is said to be the "fastest paying ad network." One leg up that they have over Google AdSense is that they show contextual ads. They also launched a mobile advertising platform earlier this year. The program offers an array of features like geo targeting that allows you to target customers in specific locations, dynamic text insertion into text ads and URLs, the ability to configue an ad to only show to the same unique user only a specific number of times and, perhaps most importantly, conversion tracking that lets you follow leads, acquisitions and sales in real-time to evalute the performance of an ad campaign. Though it's a young program (it started in South Africa in 2009 and went global even later than that), Ad:Dynamo is already considered a serious AdSense competitor by many users and reviewers.
Chitika As a direct competitor to Google AdSense, Chitika is probably the most well known and highly regarded program on this list, and that is largely because of its proven record of success. Many who use both AdSense and Chitika have reported that they see a higher clickthrough rate with Chitika, though this is largely because the ads are product related, so they greatly outperform Google on niche blogs and sites. They have an interesting 1-tier referral program that allows you to earn 10% of the income generated by publishers that you refer. Their site claims that they are the only network that "knows when not to show an ad," which makes for a positive user experience. The compatibility with AdSense has, ironically, been the biggest boost to Chitika, and makes it a great option for those who are already using Google, but would like to add to it with another program.
What other PPC progams do you use? What do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments section below.
Michael Garrity, Director of Marketing for Francis Lofts & Bunks, is an accomplished writer with a rich background in marketing, communications, and community engagement. With expertise in content creation and management, marketing strategy, digital advertising, SEO, social media management, and proficiency in various tools including Microsoft Office, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Photoshop, he is well equipped to deliver outstanding results. Holding a BA in English Literature from St. Joseph's College (IN), Michael graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 3.92 GPA, honing his strong communication skills. His diverse experience makes him a valuable asset to any team.