Diversify Your Search Marketing Campaign : 11 Alternatives to Google AdWords

SMS Text

During the Search Engine Strategies Miami conference last month, when a representative from Yahoo Search Marketing was taking questions, one attendee asked “Why should I spend my money with Yahoo and not with Google?”

The question shocked me in so many ways. First of all, what is this person even doing in a search marketing role with a company if they do not even understand the concept of search marketing share or distribution.

Secondly, even if they are a beginner, shouldn’t they understand that you can’t put all of your eggs in one Google basket and ignore the other 40% of the consumer market.

The delightful response was something like “We don’t expect you to choose one over the other. We expect you to advertise with all of the major search engines.”

Dependent upon your target market or region, Google AdWords may only have a 40% to 60% share of the search pie. If you do not diversify your paid search campaigns beyond Google AdWords, you’re not only missing the boat – but losing your company money via inaction.

Also, if your competition is only advertising on Google AdWords, you’ll get the jump on them and your shared target market by diversifying your search marketing campaign.

Take initiative and start campaigns with the following major search marketing companies:

  • Yahoo Search Marketing : Yahoo holds an incredible share of the search marketing stage and is the top online web destination for content, travel, shopping, news, entertainment and mail. Y!SM ads are served not only in search results, but throughout the Yahoo network.
  • MSN adCenter : Microsoft’s MSN and Live.com are incredibly well trafficked networks similar to Yahoo with incredible partnerships and a search engine which is integrated into the Windows operating system and Internet Explorer. adCenter search ads can also be targeted to demographics, such as male/female and ages.
  • Ask Sponsored Listings : Ask.com’s search marketing arm is also quite strong within their search properties and also the IAC network, which includes TicketMaster, CitySearch & RealEstate.com

Now, once you’ve set up & tested campaigns in the major search properties, look to these second tier search marketing companies to expand your reach even further.

  • LookSmart : LookSmart is a publicly traded search company with strong partnerships and a very large reach; over 400 million daily searches.
  • Miva : Major partner of portals and other properties : 2 billion search queries per month
  • ABCSearch : Serves over 5 billion searches per month and provides geotargeting.
  • 7Search : Frank Watson (AussieWebmaster) of FXCM loves 7Search and raves about the ROI and conversions 7Search provides, especially in the financial sector.
  • SearchFeed : Similar to Miva, SearchFeed provides sponsored search results for a large amount of partnered portals and sites.
  • Enhance : One of the Godfathers of paid search, Enhance’s partnerships with Yahoo, Dogpile, Snap.com and Verisign may result in quality traffic for your campaign.
  • Mamma.com/Copernic Media : Much more than a meta-search engine, Mamma.com also owns Copernic Desktop Search and serves sponsored search on the very popular, controversial and conversion generating Hotbar tool.
  • AMP’s adMarketplace : Sponsored search ads integrated into Ask.com, Looksmart, Marchex and other properties and offers easy setup for eBay merchants.

Are there other alternative search marketing companies which you have tested in the past or currently use and would like to recommend, critique or review?

Please feel free to leave your comments below.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • http://www.poucas-e-boas.com Marcelo Sant’Iago

    Loren, but I’m sorry: you said the question came up during SES Latino, right?
    Although your list of suggestions is very useful in the US market, it means nothing to LatAm. During my second presentation at SES Latino I showed several (relevant) options to be considered beyond GOO, YSM and MSN in Brazil.
    Best, Marcelo

  • https://www.searchenginejournal.com Loren Baker, Editor

    Well Mercelo, yes, the question came up during SES Latino, but it is a relevant question for all search marketing, not just Latin America, US Hispanics and global peoples of Latin heritage.

    So, the question was Why work with Yahoo instead of Google?

    I’m addressing the mindset that Google (or even Yahoo or MSN) is the only option in search marketing, which a lot of small business and even major companies follow.

    If you’d like to share some of the options in the LatAm market, please feel free to do so in this thread.

    Best, Loren

  • http://inozoom.com Olga

    I am not completely agree, it depends on industry, e.g for travel and shopping PANAMA and MSN work just fine (remember, Yahoo is “Women Search” and women make a decision), but for technology related websites I would not spent a cent on PPC. Couple years ago I worked for “traffic” company, we sent traffic to MIVA, 7Search and similar SE, and I know the real % of click fraud.


  • http://blogation.blogspot.com David

    “Now, once you’ve set up & tested campaigns in the major search properties, look to these second tier search marketing companies to expand your reach even further.”

    Yeah, expand your reach into your pocket as you throw good money after bad. How many of these do you honestly believe provide quality traffic? I count zero, or maybe one, at most.

  • http://www.tienvannguyen.com Tien Nguyen

    Any word on how well Adbribe works? Is that considered a 2nd tier?

  • http://www.cumbrowski.com/CarstenC/ CarstenCumbrowski

    Hi Loren,
    you missed a few 🙂 … see list of ppc search engines (incl. coupons) and also text link brokers.

  • http://www.ppcpowertothepeople.com Kaley

    If you’re interested in giving LookSmart a try, we are currently offering $50 in free clicks to new advertisers. Worth a shot!


  • John Twinning

    Here’s a good list of adwords alternatives (http://www.rosswalker.co.uk/adwords_top10/) that I found while searching the other day. Seems like quite a comprehensive list to me.