Here’s an article from Search Engine Guide that discusses the benefits of advertising on 2nd tier ppc search engines:
In general, you will find that if it takes you 20 clicks to get 1 sale on Google, it may take you 200 visitors to get 1 sale on a minor search engine. However, since it all comes down to ROI, you might wind up paying the same or even less per sale, as the bids are significantly lower on the 2nd Tier engine where it took 200 clicks to make 1 sale.
I agree that it comes down to ROI, and that if you’re profiting from 2nd tier ppc engines – heck they shouldn’t be blindly dismissed. *However* I have a problem with feeding pigs. I feel if you feed a pig, it encourages the pig to flourish and grow. I’m talking about click fraud and the lower tier engines have *HUGE* issues with allowing their feeds to be run through incentive sites (see this article here: Stop Click Fraud). And incentive sites aren’t their only problem.
If you want to still try advertising on ppc engines other than Google and Overture (which have their click fraud problems too, but not near as rampant), here’s some advice:
Watch your stats like a hawk. I mean it. If you have a ppc engine sending you decent traffic but the vast majority only hitting the landing page and not moving around, you could be looking at incentivized traffic. Are they buying? Are they signing up? Are they moving around your site? No? Run fast and far away.
Chances are you’re going to want to dump and run once you see your lower level ppc engine traffic quality, so only pay the absolute minimum amount necessary in your account. Makes it possible for a quick zip-zip getaway.
Don’t expect the same conversion rates that you receive from adwords. Remember, you’re comparing bananas (lower tier engines) to rich chocolate (adwords). The traffic quality *is not the same*. One reason why is that Google doesn’t have to rely on 3rd tier engines and incentivized traffic to get clicks.
Don’t bid high. If an engine farms out its traffic to lesser quality engines and incentive sites, you’ll find that there is a higher click rate on the top results, keep your bid low enough to stay below the fold or better yet – on the second page. Lower click through rates yes, but far less fraudulent traffic as well.
If you wish to pursue traffic from the lower tier engines, I wish you well. Some people, depending on what they advertise, can make it work for them. So here’s a shot of whisky to bolster your spirits, good luck and remember – you willingly paid for it! 😆