For many clients who participate in pay per click (ppc) advertising, the one engine that seems to get the most attention is Google. Clients want to concentrate most, if not all, of their budget on Google AdWords. While advertising on Google is important, there are many other search engines that deliver qualified customers to your site, sometimes for a lower cost per click. According to HitWise, as of February 2009, Google accounted for 72.11% of the search engine market share, which still leaves a huge amount of advertising opportunities in other search engines.
Engines such as Yahoo have modified and improved their demographic targeting functionality, to not only attract more advertisers, but to deliver more qualified customers. Yahoo’s improved targeting tools now allow advertisers to focus on their core customer base by selecting age, gender, location and time of day.
Bing is another search engine that everyone is talking about. MSN launched Bing just over a month ago and the buzz surrounding Bing continues to grow. MSN’s reinvention of their search engine has many advertisers questioning what demographic they expect to reach with this new makeover. Wister Walcott of Search Engine Land says ‘Bing is a blend of the old and the new, and best-practices in search marketing still apply. If you are managing very large search marketing programs, Bing probably won’t be the main focus of your job, but it was and is still a great place to pick up some incremental traffic.’
When creating your search engine marketing (SEM) campaign don’t discount the amount of traffic that lies just beyond the threshold of Google. Just because a search engine is smaller, does not mean that the traffic should be disregarded completely; not every search engine will perform the same. Each campaign will need to be fine tuned, according to the search engine, but by proactively managing and monitoring your campaign, you can make smaller search engines work for you.