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Old 09-03-2001, 10:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 110
Post Partner With Multiple PPC Engines: Fill Your Own Inventory

With the collapse of the banner ad market and the unreliable nature of 3rd party search engine affiliate programs (coupled with the fact that they run ads on their result pages for which you don't receive payment), the ability to partner directly with multiple pay-per-click search engines and order their results by the amount you earn, in the same format as the rest of your site, offers many advantages. Aside from maximizing earnings by avoiding 3rd party commissions and taking the top results from multiple engines, you also have the ability to distribute your earnings across multiple companies (thereby reducing your exposure should one delay payment or collapse) and ensure that visitors do not leave your site or be exposed to advertising you are not paid for.

By rotating custom search boxes into your default ad inventory or including a search box at the top of each page, you can tap a new source of revenue without causing your valuable visitors to leave your site. While the banner ad market is suffering, PPC engines are growing. Furthermore, blank custom search boxes are a great way to monetize untargetted general interest traffic (i.e. entertainment, greetings, message boards, etc.), that have difficulty selling banners, by allowing the user to type in what they are interesting and offering PPC engine advertisers targetted traffic. You can also build visitor loyalty by having them return to use the search engine on your site. Unlike affiliate programs, your visitors are not bombarded with the branding of the source search engines or the affiliate program.

I have created a set of PHP scripts that can automatically fetch results from GoClick, Sprinks, Ah-Ha, Epilot, and SearchFeed, rank the results according to the amount you earn for each clickthrough, and display them according to the options you set, in the same design as the rest of your site. I have formed a contract with each of these engines for my own site ( and have verified that (after negotiations) the way results are presented abides by the terms of all included engines. In addition, the software can pull unpaid results from Ah-Ha and to use as filler when paid results are unavailable.

I have also included an estimated earnings panel in the administration page that uses the same unique IP counts as the search engines, themselves, to determine approximately how much you are owed by each company. This allows you to quickly determine whether you are the victim of undercounting (although slight variations are to be expected) and use this knowledge to determine which search engines to partner with. The administration area also lets you quickly review search statistics, dump the databases to text files for use with 3rd party visualization tools, and change the options that affect how the results are displayed.

The software lets you specify which elements (i.e. source engine, bid price, italicized URL, etc.) that you want to include with each result and lets you provide a header and footer to ensure that result pages are consistent with the rest of your site. Furthermore, you can specify a different subset of engines to use for each search so, for example, you can make text links that only include results from search engines that allow text links.

The scripts are written in PHP (though they are in encoded form) and support persistant database connections to ensure excellent performance. They can handle a heavy load and only require Apache, MySQL, PHP, and the ability to install dynamic apache mods (to support the decoder). Support for additional search engines is planned and all future updates, fixes, and improvements will be included with a subscription.

You can see an example of the scripts in action (using my template) as they search for "computers" across GoClick, Sprinks, Ah-Ha, and Epilot at: . Feel free to type different search terms into the box and observe the output. You can also see the administration page at (the password is: admin -- PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THE PASSWORD!) . The scripts are still in beta/development and I would appreciate any comments/feature requests/bug reports that you can offer.

I was thinking that $1,000/yr/processor/domain would be a fair price for the scripts as many medium/large sites will earn that back in a couple of weeks. Furthermore, many webmasters are losing more money than that every month through the commission, unpaid banners/popups, and lost traffic incurred by using 3rd party search affiliates like AdSearches. That would price it at what is considered the low end of banner ad rotation software; furthermore, it takes a bit of preparation to form contracts with each of the engines and if you cannot afford $1,000 for the software, the extra revenue you could earn is probably not worth your effort (or the administration required on the part of the search engines). The price would include all updates, etc. as well as installation support and help forming partnerships with the search engines. Again, I am open to feedback, though.

Please e-mail all questions, comments, feature requests, and complaints to .

Thanks for your time,

BTW, I originally got the idea for this software while browsing a GeekVillage thread about L90 where one person mentioned that they wouldn't mind paying setup and ad-rotation fees if they could have a good selection of advertisers and would not need to pay an ad sales commission. This software is the analogue of an ad-rotation program and can be used to fill your inventory with high paying custom search boxes that improve customer loyalty and provide a service to your visitors. However, I apologize for not including the per CPM ad-rotation fees that the poster mentioned :-). Let's just see if he was right about a market existing for this product.
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