Top PPC Advertising Networks Comparison

ppc advertising networks comparisonOver the past two years, I have spent close to $3,500 on PPC Advertising. Of course, that kind of spending resulted in decent returns but the reality is that, only 3 ad networks out of the 8 or 9 that I tried, actually returned anything significant.

Based on my experience, here’s a table that contain the good and bad aspects of those best PPC advertising networks that I experimented with and my rating of them from an advertiser’s point of view. Please note that many of you may have a different story to talk about your specific campaigns and hence please pitch in with your comments.

PPC Advertising Networks Comparison

Comparison and rating of the Six PPC ad networks is given below. You can actually take it as a comparison of AdWords vs other advertising networks such as Microsoft AdCenter, Facebook Ads etc (As you may already know, Yahoo Publisher Network is now folded into Microsoft Advertising). And please note that the MY rating is based on what I got in return for my ad spending.

Network Pros Cons Rating
Google AdWords
  • Leaps ahead of the competition
  • Highest conversion rates
  • Multi-format ads that gets highest CTR
  • Highly Context specific ad-serving
  • Numerous ad-sizes and device support
  • Best geo-targeting and suits international customers
  • High Cost-per-Click
  • Slow customer support
  • Abrupt ban of advertiser accounts
9 / 10
Microsoft AdCenter
  • Second option for Search Advertising
  • Reach on Bing and Yahoo
  • Good Customer Support
  • No Image Ads
  • No content publishers outside Microsoft Network
  • Conversion rate not as good as AdWords
  • Ads not as Intuitive
7 / 10
Facebook Ads
  • High Social reach
  • Very good demographic options
  • Very Good for brand building
  • Highly specific targeting
  • Slow ad approval process
  • Only one ad size/format
  • Works only with specific niche products
  • Low conversion rates
6 / 10
LinkedIn Ads
  • Extremely good for increasing brand awareness among professionals
  • Lead generation options in campaigns
  • Can target selected entrepreneurial roles
  • Limited ad size options
  • PPC Bids not accepted below suggested range
  • Poor direct conversion (but good leads)
  • Phone numbers etc not allowed in ad text
5 / 10
Bidvertiser
  • Custom ad sizes
  • Low CPC rates
  • Easy to get started and drive traffic
  • Ads are not always context-aware
  • No real search/social advertising options
  • Not as effective as premium ad services mentioned above
3 / 10
Adbrite
  • Global reach
  • Cheap advertising option to drive traffic
  • Adult advertising options
  • Not as effective as premium ad services
  • Your brand may be damaged if ads appear on adult sites
3 / 10


I didn’t try Miva, Ask.com PPC Advertising, Chitika, Infolinks etc yet nor have I focused on CPM advertising networks other than BuySellAds in CPM mode. [I must tell you that, BuySellAds from advertisers’ point of view has been very disappointing with the trials that I had. I still have four to five campaigns running on BSA. It seems to work well only with highly visible ad spots above the fold]

Disclaimer: Since I was banned from Google AdWords a few months back, the rating for AdWords is based on my past experience which has been extremely positive. Also, I do not run campaigns on Bidvertiser and Adbrite any longer but have used enough of them in the past. At the moment, I have several simultaneous campaigns running on Facebook Ads, Microsoft AdCenter, LinkedIn ads and BuySellAds.

Related Posts

AdWords vs AdCenter
AdWords vs Facebook Ads
Facebook Advertising Tips

Good luck with your PPC campaigns!

Comments

  1. jayaar :

    I am happy to have stumbled upon your site.
    Very informative article! Analysis based on your personal experience gives us the best idea of the programs.
    Best wishes!
    Regards….

  2. Praveen Rajarao :

    Hi Ajit,

    Nicely composed and compared between the various PPC advertisers. Thanks for sharing the information.

  3. Hi Ajith, I am surprised to see that you spend money to PPC advertising campaigns. Is that for other sites or do you use PPC for dollarshower traffic? As for me, I haven’t personally spent any money on PPC ads in over 3 years. I find that it is not as effective as organic search traffic.

    • @Shirley, Long time :) I have been using PPC for other small websites and a couple of landing pages. A few of them are in fact banned already by Google along with my AdWords account. With AdCenter/LinkedIn/Facebook, I am directly sending people to affiliate products – none too successful as compared to AdWords. By the way, AdCenter recently stopped distribution via their content partners and now focussing only on their own web content (e.g. MSN) along with Bing and Yahoo search marketing. It’s still good as Bing/Yahoo combo is improving in their search market share.

      On D$, direct relevant organic search is what converts!

  4. David :

    I just saw this list and thought I’d share.

    Google – 156.1 million monthly unique – http://www.quantcast.com/google.com
    Adblade – 139.8 million monthly uniques – http://www.quantcast.com/p-b8GPCpJxfqYm2
    Meebo – 136.8 million monthly uniques – http://www.quantcast.com/p-93vmRJG_BQlqo
    Vibrant media – 136.1 million monthly uniques – Comscore Oct 2011
    Undertone – 125.2 million monthly unique – Comscore Oct 2011
    Ask Network – 90 million monthly unique – Comscore Oct 2011
    Kontera – 75.5 million monthly uniques – http://www.quantcast.com/kontera.com
    AOL – 40.8 million monthly unique – http://www.quantcast.com/aol.com
    Linkedin – 39.4 million monthly uniques – http://www.quantcast.com/linkedin.com
    Pulse 360 – 39.6 million monthly uniques – http://www.quantcast.com/pulse360.com
    Myspace – 14.8 million monthly uniques – http://www.quantcast.com/myspace.com

  5. I guess StumbleUpon Ads (https://www.stumbleupon.com/pd/index/redirect-ads/) will also be a good deal. Some of my friends tried it. :)

    They have 3 pricing tiers – Light, Standard, and Premium.

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