Should You Really Pay-Per-Click?
by Mark Daoust

Many advertisers continue to use pay-per-click advertising 
because they are unaware of any alternatives. The fact is, 
there are very promising search engines that may be used as 
an alternative or supplement to a PPCSE campaign. Even if you 
have dropped your PPCSE advertising altogether because you 
cannot find that blend of quality, high-volume traffic along 
with a low bid price, you will want to consider these 
alternative search engines.

This article will look at three search engines. If you have not 
already added your site to these search engines, it is highly 
recommended that you do so.

TowerSearch (

Why only allow one advertiser to be number one? This is the 
question that TowerSearch has posed to the pay-per-click search 
engine industry when they introduced their "Equalized Results".  

TowerSearch guarantees that advertisers will receive a top 
listing for their site under the keywords that they choose 
without bidding on those keywords. This is done through a 
constant re-organizing of their results to ensure that each 
advertiser receives fair treatment. Because there is no per 
click cost associated with listing your site on TowerSearch, 
your monthly expenditures will remain consistent even if the 
traffic from your listings increases significantly.  

TowerSearch advertisers can select from two account levels. The 
"Standard Listings" ($29.95/month) account allows advertisers to 
list their site under as many as 100 keywords. TowerSearch does 
provide an account that allows for unlimited keywords, but be 
prepared to pay a little extra for that account ($49.95/month).

Over 1,200 websites currently participate in the TowerSearch 
network. Unlike a pay-per-click search engine that pays its 
network partners to provide searches, TowerSearch rewards its 
partners for new clients. The result is that TowerSearch traffic 
is driven by users interested in finding a product or service, 
not an affiliate looking to make a commission.

TowerSearch seems to be the only search engine that effectively 
reduces your per click cost as you receive more traffic. Because 
they charge a flat monthly fee for their services, as you 
improve your listings, add keywords and increase traffic to 
your listings, your per click price will quickly drop to an 
insignificant level. TowerSearch is well worth the meager 
$29.95/month they are charging.

ExactSeek (

It is possible to get a number 1 listing without paying for 
every click you receive. The people at ExactSeek have built an 
engine that allows you to move up their rankings by simply 
providing them with some traffic yourself.

ExactSeek blends innovative search and listing techniques with 
the traditional search engine model. At the core of ExactSeek 
is a Meta-tag search engine using site titles and meta-tags to 
classify sites under keywords and phrases. However, unlike a 
traditional meta-tag search engine, the most important aspect 
of your ranking (under their priority listings) is the amount 
of traffic you provide to their site.  

ExactSeek Priority Listings use a system of "Search Points" to 
determine a site's ranking. A single search point is equal to 20 
searches provided within a day. As your listing accumulates more 
and more search points, your site rises in their listings. And, 
of course, as your site rises in their rankings, you will see 
more and more traffic.  

When you add your site to their listings, you will certainly want 
to participate in their Priority Listings as it guarantees your 
site a place among the top 100 search results for the keywords 
in your site title and meta tags. Of course, your position within 
the top 100 will continue to improve as you send more traffic to 

With over 30,000 new site submissions daily (yes, that's 30,000 
site submissions per day), ExactSeek is quickly making its 
impression on webmasters across the globe. Also, visitors are 
able to search for more than just websites. They can search for 
images, mp3 files, images, comparison shopping sites and email 

If you have not added your site to ExactSeek, you are missing out 
on something that is becoming more and more rare: the opportunity 
for free traffic. With that price tag in mind and the ability to 
be listed at the top of their listings, listing with ExactSeek is 
an easy decision.  

LookListings (

One of the main problems pay-per-click search engines have 
presented to advertisers is the "ego bidder". This is the bidder 
who bids so much higher than what everyone else is willing to 
pay that all competition is effectively cut off. The negative 
consequence of this is that the bid price is artificially 
inflated and all advertisers suffer less traffic or higher bid 

To avoid the ego bidders, and to provide all advertisers with a 
fair price for their listings, LookListings charges a flat per 
click fee of just $0.15. Try finding a quality keyword on 
Overture or Google for $0.15 - I promise you will not be able 
to find one.

This system has worked very well for them and their advertisers. 
Because there is no bidding process, advertisers are able to 
concentrate more on how their listings read and what keywords 
they are listed under rather than focusing on whether they have 
been outbid, are paying too much for their listing, or other 
time-consuming activities.

LookSmart was already recognized for being a top search engine 
before launching LookListings. Since LookListings became 
available, LookSmart has added MSN, AltaVista, About, Excite, 
Netscape, InfoSpace, Cnet, and RoadRunner to participate in 
their program.  

LookListings will probably be the most expensive option out of 
the three search engines presented here. However, with the search 
traffic they are able to provide, their services are well worth 
the asking price.


This article has mentioned three search engines that act as 
alternatives or supplements to PPCSE's. PPCSE's are not a bad 
marketing investment. However, they can be expensive and 
difficult to manage. These alternative search engines all offer 
one thing: more traffic for your money. You can learn more about 
each of these engines by clicking the links below:

Mark Daoust is the owner and operator of, a resource 
on over 100 pay per click search engines, with articles, reviews, 
and special offers from pay per click search engines. You can 
contact mark at: