Google’s growth and buzz has accomplished the goal of bringing tens of thousands of advertisers to its cost-per-click network, AdWords. Now its getting competitive, expensive, and killing the once brilliant ROI all the early advertisers had basked in.

For those of you who solely use the big G’s AdWords, it’s time to introduce a few viable alternatives, for demographic strategy and expense purposes.

If Google Adwords’ “text ads” have been working well then you should consider putting a little money on MSN, Yahoo or Combined, Yahoo and MSN control about 25% of the search market, so there are millions of monthly impressions to be had.

The Yahoo, and MSN searchers are not ones you will likely find using Google. There is loyalty to search engines, particularly due to Yahoo! and MSN’s function as portals to other services, such as email.

Here is another great reason to consider the “b-level” search engines, typically they are cheaper. As there is less demand for top placement, this means that their prices are frequently lower. If you are marketing to the age 50+ crowd or to the low-middle class, studies show that these folks do not bring up Google first.

Other alternatives with cheaper cost-per-click rates to consider are:

  • The use of content networks such as shows ads on third party sites with related content.
  • Online newspapers.
  • Vertical search engines which may focus on information technology, legal matters, etc.
  • Social media is an excellent resource for small businesses, particularly sites like which helps consumers find and evaluate businesses within their local area, such as the best Italian restaurant or reliable plumber.

Best of luck in your PPC campaign!


Landon Harlan

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