After having Google tell me they don’t allow people to advertise product related to the exercise of certain civil rights I started looking at alternatives. It turns out you can place an ad on Overture.com and get advertising to show up on http://search.yahoo.com, http://www.Search.MSN.com, http://altavista.com (defunct as of 2013, see https://digital.com/about/altavista/ for the history), and http://www.cnn.com/SEARCH/. There are some downsides:
- The minimum rate is $0.10/click – twice that of Google.
- Minimum of $50 up front instead of $5.00 from Google.
- It can take a few days before they will approve your ads compared to minutes for Google.
The upsides are:
- They didn’t have a problem with my guns and explosives product.
- They did disallow a few words and phrases but they gave rational reasons and I respect their conclusions.
- They have better tools for determining the phrases and key words that are being used by people doing the searches.
- I’m getting a lot more hits!
- Their tracking is better. They have a cookie system set up that will report whenever someone clicks on an ad ultimately, even days later, clicks on my entry form. I can see what key words are actually generating people interested in entering the event versus just looking at pictures and watching the videos.
- I can see in the log file exactly what the raw query was and how it was morphed into a key phrase of mine to generate a hit. This means I can figure out the keywords people are using and put those on my pages if it’s a good match. Key words that aren’t a good match but are still morphed into a hit I can tweak to avoid the hit.
- No requirement for minimum click rates, Google has been dropping words and phrases if they don’t meet their minimum number of clicks per impression. My friends and I have probably provided a dozen clicks or so just to keep me from losing the keywords.
Kim du Toit is by far better than anything else, but he is doing this as a favor and I don’t have any control over being able do this on a regular basis.
Here is the break down on people that have clicked on banners, ads, and links from various places so far this month:
Overture Ads 36 (started on February 14th)
Google Adwords 23 (running all month and probably 12 of those were my own and friends)
JoeHuffman.org (all personal sites): 23
RyJones.org/com Gawth.com EveryoneEveryWhereAlways 17
Xeniahs.org (and other banner ads place by her) 2
So… comparing Overture to Google I get hits at a rate of about 7 a day versus about 0.6/day. Over ten times as good. I’m going to tell Google to get lost. No point paying bigots your money when there are better alternatives available.