Gordon Choi had an interesting post today about using second and third tier search engines. Most of his comments are really just common sense.
Never expect the lower-tier PPC search engines to perform better or even similar to the top search engines. The best is to initially set lower expectations. The top tier PPC platforms are just too powerful regarding click volume and demographics, user experience (with platform functionalities), bid-gap reduction (or discounter), and click fraud protection.
Honestly if someone goes to a second or third tier search engine and believes that they are going to perform at the same level as a first tier search engine they are just flat out crazy! How can you expect a search engine(or contextual player) with siginificantly lower volume and reach could perform half as well as the market leaders?
When he said you shouldn’t try 2nd and 3rd tier to begin with that isn’t a bright assumption to begin with. I am glad he came back and changed his mind.
Some of the best 2nd tier players like Miva, and Marchex have decent quality traffic. Yes the bigger search players have better controls, optimization, and fraud detection… but don’t we hear all the time that google could do more on those fronts as well?
If you are going to go test new CPC text display ads do it in an orderly fashion. MAke sure you monitor things closely and use all of the tools available. Adbrite just recently rolled out a BETA version of its keyword targeted CPC text ads which a user can buy in bulk through the uploading of a simple CSV file. On a side note if you go into Comscore and sort through the ad networks by sheer volume of impressions available monthly Adbrite is 3rd behind Google and Advertising.com. Now mind you it is in BETA so of course there are bugs to be fixed. but for example if a company (Adbrite or any other second tier engine) gives you the opportunity to pass through a numeric code which corresponds to each particular website you are getting traffic from why would you not use it? I have seen advertisers come in and say no we won’t do that we will stay archaic and try to pass you back referral URL’s instead which then have to be sorted through on each side. Does that make sense to anyone?