Top 3 Second Tier PPC Search Engines

Ever felt that the competitive landscape on Google, Yahoo, and Bing is simply becoming too crowded? The big 3 search engines acquire the largest search market share; it is natural to expect varied and numerous pay per click (PPC) competitors. What if you engage in PPC with second tier search engines?

Second Tier Search Engines

So-called “second tier” as they acquire only a fraction of the search market share that major search engines secure, these search engines offer a variety of advertising opportunities and almost all of them offer PPC. The first and foremost objection with second tier search engines is that they do not handle as much traffic as the leading players in the search industry. But even JUST a BILLION searches every month (which is a single digit percentage of the total search market) is a potentially lucrative consumer base.

Here are 3 of the top second tier search engines and what they can offer in terms of PPC advertising:

7Search — 7Search is a privately owned PPC search engine that has been in operation since 1999. It boasts an extensive network of online businesses that its search feature leverages to connect users to ads. 7Search is one of the most widely used second tier search engines in terms of PPC advertising because of how affordable it is to generate traffic from it. The average Cost per Click (CPC) for 7Search in 2011 was around $0.32, and you need only $25 to setup an advertiser account to take advantage of the over 1.5 billion searches conducted every month.

Ask.com — According to an October 2010 report from ComScore, Ask.com was the 10th most trafficked website, reaching 73 million unique users. Ask.com is a question and answers search site that offers Homepage Takeover and Question of the Day advertising along with Standard ad placements. Average bids are typically around 30% lower than the big 3, though for less expensive keywords its average CPC may be higher than others because of a required minimum CPC and minimum Click Through Rate (CTR) based on past ad performance.

Business.com — A website that aims to bring users and the businesses that matter to them together, business.com is more of an official website than a search engine. Its extensive content and network necessitates a powerful search mechanism, however, that has since become a treasure trove for adept PPC marketers. Aside from PPC, business.com also offers pay per lead and display advertising, as well as premium gird and directory listing. Business.com is evidently best for business to business (B2B) bidders where bids start at $0.40 (with $0.10 increments).

7Search made this list because of the sheer volume of reported cheap traffic it can generate, and also because a good number of advertisers who have used their PPC platform reported being successful at it. Ask.com, while not as big on market share as 7Search, features a natural Q&A format and 3 types of advertising options to take advantage of their search engine’s nature. Finally, Business.com’s structure and goal of bringing the right businesses to users makes it a gold mine for B2B PPC marketers, and a decent second tier search engine to work with if you are only starting to expand you PPC efforts.