Is PPC to CPA Dead?

With the recent changes in the PPC industry, many CPA marketers are throwing in the towel assuming that sending pay per click (PPC) traffic to cost per action (CPA) offers is dead and unprofitable.

Google Adwords is the search engine leader with over 60% of the search market making it an obvious choice as a top PPC traffic source.

But Google Adwords has been cracking down on affiliate marketers and banning accounts that they feel do not offer a good user experience to their searchers.

And any of us doing CPA marketing realize that a vast majority of CPA offers being promoted are not really value adding.

These mass bannings started after the FTC introduced their new rules in early December 2009, to target marketers who were practicing deceptive marketing (i.e. flogs and farticles).

Many marketers lost their entire CPA businesses when Google Adwords decided to ban their accounts, but Google Adwords is not the only pay per click search engine in town.

Even though Google Adwords controls a lion’s share of the available pay per click traffic online, there are still many other sources of pay per click traffic that can be bought and in many cases, at a much lower cost.

The two other major players in the PPC game are Yahoo Search Marketing and MSN Adcenter.  Although these two pay per click sources don’t nearly have as much traffic as Google Adwords, in my experience they do have better conversions.  Since the competition is not as much I also pay a lower cost per conversion versus advertising on Google Adwords.

If you take Yahoo and MSN’s search volume, they represent about 30% of the searches done on the Internet.  This is still a sizable amount of traffic to profit from.  Yahoo and MSN are planning to merge their pay per click marketing platforms, which I hope with give Google Adwords a formidable challenge.

There are dozens of second tier pay per click search engines such as 7Search.com, Looksmart.com, Ask.com, etc. that can provide marketers with thousands of targeted prospects each and every day.

But the problem with the second tier search engines is that they derive their traffic from a number of traffic partner sites.  This can results in a large number of fraudulent clicks from partner sources that are just out to steal click revenues.

These second tier search engines don’t have the sophisticated fraud technology that Google Adwords has, so it is hard to determine what clicks are real and which are fraudulent when they charge your account.

The key is to learn how to pass traffic partner IDs from second tier search engines so that you can have these fraudulent traffic sources shut off.  If you are disciplined enough to do this and can afford to lose some money up front to clean up the traffic, you will be left with decent converting traffic at the end of this exercise.

PPC traffic in my opinion is still the best converting traffic because it allows you to screen your prospects with your ads before they click and you are charged a click cost.

Although PPV traffic is also very lucrative, it is now getting very competitive and profit margins are shrinking fast with PPV traffic sources.

If you want to build a thriving PPC to CPA business, never allow one PPC traffic source to be more than 25% of your traffic spend. Diversify your PPC sources so that when one source disappears, you still have at least 75% of your PPC traffic.

So in conclusion, PPC to CPA is very much alive with great potential, even if you don’t rely on Google Adwords for PPC traffic.

Cheers. Gauher

66 comments

  1. Glad to hear you’re still positive Gauher.

  2. Hey Gauher.

    This is right.

    You need to have your traffic from more than one source of traffic.

    Yes, PPC to CPA still working very good, but it must be done the right way!

    Dr. Hilal

  3. terrance

    How does one pass the ids? Thanks for great insight as always!

  4. Ray

    Hi Gauer,

    Thanks for the quick and informative post. I’m thinking about getting started with the CPA to PPC thing and it’s good to see that you’re still in the game.

    Ray

  5. Matt

    Hi Gauher,

    Another interesting and informative post.

    How is your son? I hope he is in good health and spirits – just like his dad 🙂
    I have an 11 month old daughter and you don’t know how a parent feels until you become one.

    Take care and stay positive.

    Matt
    Sydney Australia

  6. Cy

    Gauher,

    It is great to see your post. It echoes what you teach and what you do — diversification of traffic sources in your portfolio of paid traffic.

    We wish you and your family the best, and look forward to hearing more from you in the near future.

  7. Thank you for the information.
    I use adwords to send traffic to landing pages on my blog which are optimized for specific keywords. The articles are genuine and unique so they do have some value for the visitor.
    It takes too long to set up though.
    Regards

  8. Mike

    On second tier traffic sources, how do you pass traffic partner IDs so that you can have these cut off?

    Where can I find more information on how to do this?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  9. My Yahoo campaigns convert much better than Adwords, but I think the key moving forward is to have your own products/offers. Much more control and security…

    Nuke

  10. Hi Gauher,

    My buddy is a certified Google Adwords consultant and we chat on a regular basis. His Adwords consulting has actually quadrupled in the past 6 months dues to Google banning affiliates. He runs Adwords for clients with really bricks and mortar businesses!

    I am now buying more of my traffic from social media sites (like facebook) and other little know traffic sources and it’s working out really well for my CPA offers.

    Thanks for the info.

  11. Dan

    Can you please post some new PPC/ PPV sources that you can drive traffic from? That will help many people who are wondering where to buy traffic these days?

  12. Hi Gauhar,

    You are so right. You should see this situation as “Glass half filled” meaning if Google has 60% of the search market, you can still profit from the other 40% traffic from the 2nd tier search engines.

  13. Hi Gauher

    good to see you back 😉

    tracking is more and more cruical to any success online

    Frank

  14. Arne

    Hi Gauher,

    Thanks for sharing your great knowledge
    and straight forward analysis of what is happening in the PPC/CPA world.

    Wishing you and yours all the best.

    Arne

  15. “Although PPV traffic is also very lucrative, it is now getting very competitive and profit margins are shrinking fast with PPV traffic sources”…….

    Uhmmmmm….I wonder why? *cough*cough* LOL! Didn’t a certain well known PPC/PPV marketer recently sell a PPV course and train a few thousand people to do PPV who might not have even known PPV even existed prior to this well known marketer offering this course? *cough*cough*

    Heh heh…Love your stuff Gauher. Hope your little one is doing well.
    Michael Rytter

  16. Excellent post, Doc! Thank you for the words of advice for diversifying PPC campaigns. It should also be noted that Facebook PPC is currently a formidable and probably DOMINATING competitor to Google. Purely because of it’s targetability factors.

  17. Flor

    Maybe is still working very good but the major problem are landing pages that require a lot of time and effort.. and testing…

  18. Ron

    Google Adwords is not the only shop in town. However, depending on the circumstances, getting banned from Adwords can really put a hamper on peoples plans just due to how much of the market share they have.

    I wonder if using MSN Adcenter + Yahoo Search Advertising + Adbrite would do any good in making up the traffic and conversion loss from losing an Adwords account?

    Have you ever used Adbrite to drive traffic? is it any good? I have hearrd it has a high rate of click fraud, I would be intrested in hearing your thoughts on Adbrite.

    Thanks for the excellent information

  19. First time reader on your blog, very good article.

    I’m still new to the entire PPC to CPA notion, thanks for clearing some things up and illustrating how everything is changing.

  20. David

    Which other traffic ppc networks do you recommend..Google hates my landing pages and adwords just doesn’t work for me.

    By the way, have you ever tried affinity ads…?

    thanks for the help Gauher

  21. David

    I forgot to ask, is mobile advertising with admob a possibility still. I mean, are there mobile cpa networks?

    Thanks

  22. Hey Gauher, PPC, PPV, media buys, you name it…

    Gotta have solid plan with tracking strategies in place to test platforms to specific offers.

    Diversification is the name of this game.

    Thanks again…

  23. That’s right…don’t put all of your eggs in on basket…

    Thanks for the post Gauher…

  24. Hey Gauher,

    Great post, I am still a struggling PPC to CPA player, I have only been focusing on Google Content and Yahoo, but I think I’ll focus more on Yahoo and MSN now after reading this post. Thanks,

  25. Thanks for the info on the alternatives for PPC. Always looking for new traffic sources.

  26. Nice info bro….thanks

  27. Deepak

    Hi Gauher

    Nice to ‘see’ you back. Spending money up front to weed out the wrong traffic is the main issue with many of us. People with low budget keep away from PPC and PPV at the moment, at least, I think so.

    Hope that situation will improve in future for us !!!

    Deepak
    Auckland, NZ

  28. simon

    I had been wondering why I was getting such incredibly low conversions on the second tier search engines.. now I know.

    How do I pass traffic partner IDs from second tier search engines so that I can have these fraudulent traffic sources shut off?

  29. Alisa

    I just bought a course today called Confidential Conversions from some kid Philip Mansour…

    He talks about different PPC networks that have low cost clicks, but still high quality traffic.

    Just thought I’d let you know, not sure if you use the same sources as him, or know about them.

  30. Jon

    Thanks, Gauher. I’ve lost a bit of money trying PPC with adwords. It’s still the biggest game in town. But it’s very competitive. I’ll have to give some of the other sources a try.

  31. Das

    Great tip for newbies. Could this be a strategy?

    Use Google to test market and then launch in different engines?

    G.Das
    ******

  32. Yes Alisa … I understand that this “22” year old kid has already earned $600K in 2010.

    Thanks Gauher for your usual insightful post.

    Personally, I intend to steer clear of Google AdWords for the many reasons stated above.

    Wayne

  33. Alisa…

    Those “different” PPC networks have been around for a long time….They are what is know as “Second Tier” networks….much smaller networks, thus the lower cost.

    There is nothing “new” in Phillip’s course industry wise, (though it may be new to people new to the industry)

  34. Gaurav

    Hi Gauher,
    Nice to ’see’ you back. I think you are one of the biggest hopes for people who want to spend money on PPC and double it with CPA. In Past, You came out with Step by Step video on advertising with second tier search engine. Would love to see more detail to figure out Fraud with those

  35. Google is too powerful and it’s good to hear that MSN and Yahoo might merge. Thanks for the insight.

  36. Hi Gauher, I was impressed with your post, Thanks for the post.

  37. Hey Gauher,

    The Yahoo Search Marketing and MSN Adcenter is my first choose.

  38. Gauher: Your advice about not having one traffic source account for more than 25% of your total traffic is “Golden” advice. You need to treat your traffic sources like a top investor treats a stock portfolio — it needs to be diversified.

    Also, I love the fact that people are running away from PPC these days. Seriously consider going in the opposite direction of the crowd. In many cases, that is where the opportunity lies.

  39. Great Post, i’m looking forward to do CPA. So this way to generate income with CPA is PPC right?

  40. Rik

    I have been reviewing such a product mentioned here above and there’s no mention to fraud, so one can assume that this information is not as complete. Better to learn what many of us here are asking, really asking (as one can read) to Gauher… How do we pass traffic partner IDs from second tier search engines so that we can have these fraudulent traffic sources shut off?
    Is there some php code? But, if direct linking?
    Of all things we need, tracking better is # 1.

    Hope your child is of better health, Gauher.

  41. Brian Davis

    Common guy, how about giving us the scoop on the ID thing.

  42. Hi Gauher,
    You are the man! I always open your emails first.
    I did not realize that Google is back up to 60% of the traffic source? wow!
    and just as I am preparing for my ppv initiation, had no idea it too is becoming saturated and now more competitive.
    Challenging to keep up with the learning curve and implement at the same time.
    It is your teaching that is phenomenal and gives all the answers.
    I am grateful beyond words for your expertise and your ability to share the knowledge with us all.
    Most Sincerely and humbly,
    your ppc & ppv student

  43. Yes I’ve started to use both 7search and Yahoo and it’s been OK so far. Lost some money at first but slowly turning small profits and getting it back, and hoping to be in the black soon.

  44. I’ve never had much luck with PPC but this article gives me hope. I got the banhammer from Adwords but never even considered Yahoo and MSN.

    Does direct linking work on these two or should I go with landing pages?

  45. Hi Gauher, good to see some stuff from you again.
    I’ve tried Adbrite a fair few times, and have had some success with them, but nothing much to write home about.
    I haven’t been on Bing for a while, do they allow banner adverts on there now?
    Regards
    Justin

  46. Hi, is been long ,how is your little boy?
    The post is a eye opener,some of us are beginning to get worried and stranded,i will look at these probables.
    Thanks.
    Emmanuel,
    Lokoja,Nigeria

  47. Thanks for the good information. In time everything changes and nothing is forever, so keeping options open at all times is very important. It was not that long ago when nobody had hear of Google.

  48. Larry Brophy

    Notes from a CPV marketer:

    Gross profit:

    One year ago: >$1000/day
    Six months ago: <$500/day
    Today: <$100/day

    First position bid is now 5x what it was a year ago thanks to newbies.

    I believe it's time to change gears and move toward a new affiliate business model. Anybody know 'X'? Seems like he's on the right track…

  49. i burned (WASTED) a few hundred dollars on PPV 🙁 i guess it’s time to try out PPC.

    although i have studied alot of PPV,PPC courses the key is to TAKE ACTION!

    i’ll start with Yahoo and Bing this time.

  50. Val

    Hi Gaugher,

    Would like to re-iterate the acooments about your Son and hope things are going well now.

    I’m just destined to always be “behind the curve” on this as I’ve only just started to get my head around PPC and how it works and now it seems the game has changed LOL

    Not sure about PPV (I’ll have to research !) but this whole area of getting paid traffic needs so much research and time before being able to implement it successfully and then something changes !

    I know anything “easy” is never worthwhile but it is SO frustraing to newbies tryiomg to get a grip and make progress.

    Surely if everyone “in the loop” is making money then why mess with it ? Seems like the big players want to shut out new entrants by all the constant changes.

    Sorry for the rant but never mind … where there’s a will there’s a way 🙂

  51. Nice Article Gauher!

    At 7search, it is possible to request a special parameter to add your tracking URLs that will pass the partner and referrer IDs to your analytics. After reviewing, you can send your block request to our traffic team for implementation.

    If you would like to learn more about 7search, feel free to shoot me an email (cleo @ 7search.com)and I will be happy to help you get started.

    At 7search we try to put more control in the hands of our customers to help them succeed.

  52. Val

    Ooops !

    Just re-read my comments … so sorry about all the typo’s ! Maybe that’s why I’m not getting good returns online at the moment 🙂

  53. Hi,

    Thanks, for the great post. I see a lot of benefit myself in using other ppc search engines too. Started using 7Search thanks to reading your blog a while back. I’m a true believer in ppc, but I feel that with cpa it’s a lot harder to get a good roi unless you really work at it.

    Regards, Roger

  54. Great Advice on CPA & PPC from my man with the master plan who is one step ahead of the breaking news & I know Gauher sounds like testing whizz so the word is gospel

    I have been more focussed into web design, blogging, forum marketing and social media
    but been a little frightened of driving traffic
    to direct affiliate links (i.e Google Cash method…does this still work guys??)

    Am really into CPA at moment and checking out various sources – Chris Cobb, Gauher, David Anderson are the best guys in the UK who are actively using CPA to make big bucks

    Can anyone suggest the best CPA resources to use , ebooks, video courses for newbies?

    Also I have a question relating to autoresponders – go for a hosted service like AWeber or TrafficWave (two I am considering) or install own autoresponder script from AutoResponsePlus which works out cheaper as only pay one-off set up fee and no monthly subs? which is better option in the long term do you feel?

    Best Wishes & Have An Awesome Day
    Mike L

  55. Hi Gauher, I also thinking about,we wish you and your family the best.Thanks for your info! Take care.

  56. Diversify, diversify, diversify! That is all I want to say!

    Thanks Gauher for a really informative post.

    Alan

  57. Rik

    Hi Gauher,

    I am here if you need some finest scientific advice. I won *the only spot* for a superior scholarship (among 10,000 people wanting it very badly) in the Life Sciences faculty at Cornell University, N.Y. Maybe you want to consider a second opinion. Just know that the Source created molecules which doctors in the hospitals are in ignorance of, and these are in specific, advanced botanical synergistic effects (i.e. no drugs do this) which heal.

    Gauher, do not hesitate to shoot me an email, I feel I can help you a lot on this ordeal.
    Worst is to not know than to know, right?

    In caring support for your son,

    Rik

  58. So how much traffic does Google really control?
    I advertise on 2nd tier and kill it.

    I hear different stats everywhere these days.

    Any insight on the quality difference in%

    I would do an adword campaign if it was truly 2 x the result.

  59. Sam

    Is it still possible to buy the PPCF 2.0 course from your site? I went to http://www.cpahotspot.com/ but didn’t see any information on purchasing.

    Thanks

  60. I find 7search traffic converting well for some CPA offers.

    I tried Looksmart and it eats lots of clicks. Converting also but I think their system has more fraud clicks than 7search.

    Not every niche/offer may convert with these networks, unlike adwords, where everything converts.

    ANyway, the more gurus will sell out secrets of easy’n’rich affiliate lifestyle and esp traffic sources, the harder our life will be.

    Good old SEO still has the best ROI I’ve ever seen in my aff business.

  61. Thanks for the great post, yes there are loads of ways to get traffic for your authority sites.
    Just do it and keep tracking all of the time I built up my own resource list over time of about 74 different places to get traffic from. Adwords still works great.
    Cheers..bruceS..

  62. Gauher,

    Thanks for your great blog post. I find someone from 7search guys (Cleofe Betancourt) on this comment and in minute I ask him several questions regarding 7search optimization. I got quick response and request some “hidden feature” on my 7search account to be opened.

    The hidden features are :
    1. Blocking referers
    2. Blocking subid/parner
    3. Day parting

    I don’t know if those feature must be requested or available as default for other accounts, but you can take alook at your 7search account.

    It saved me lot of money, sure …

    I just create short video tutorial, how to block bad referers (non converting referers).

    http://www.funtracking.com/?p=47

    Anton, ID

  63. Hello Gauher,

    After watching one of your webinars, I decided to sign up for 7Search and am looking forward to getting started. The service at 7Search is great! I emailed them and asked them to give me the ability to block sub Ids and domains and they got back to me real quickly and gave me that ability. Hopefully over time I will be able to ensure that I am getting good quality traffic to my site. Thanks again for your help!

  64. Sam

    Hi Gauher,

    I read your Insider’s Guide To CPA Marketing Profits. It was easy to understand. I love that book.

    I am now thinking of joining your PPV Formula, but I heard that it is better to go wtih PPC for beginner.

    Please advice.

    Thanks from Sam

  65. Hi Sam,

    It really depends on your preference. Some people love PPV because there doesn’t have to be any ad writing or worrying about quality scores. Other people love PPC because it has a greater reach.

    Cheers
    Gauher

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