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PPC Advertising
Most of us are familiar with PPC services such as Overture, Yahoo's sponsored listings, Google's sponsored listings and Google Adwords. These employ the PPC model originally pioneered by Overture (then called GoTo) where an advertiser pays a specified bid amount for each visitor that is delivered from your advertisement. Essentially, advertisers are establishing their own targetted traffic by creating their own listings and bidding on how much they will pay for each click that lands a human visitor at their website.

As Overture pioneered the basic PPC model as a directory, others have applied the PPC model to hosted ads, as well as to domain name parking. This allowed many more options for ad delivery on a much broader network.

Pay-Per-Click advertising has grown-up quite a bit since the pioneering days. Now, most PPC advertising partners employ rather sophisticated technologies to catch and and deter fraudulent clicks. So beware, if you setup a script or macro that will click on one of your domain's parked PPC ads repeatedly, you are almost insuring the demise of your account.

Certainly, check your PPC listings. Make sure the directories actually have advertisements in them, but do not click on any of the actual ads. Clicking on your own advertisements is like paying yourself and is against the terms of your parking partner's TOS (Terms of Service).

Another thing that has grown-up about PPC advertisments is the format of the ads themselves. It used to be that PPC were all directory styled listings with tracked text links, or perhaps a tracked GIF banner campaign. Nowadays, you can see all sorts of multimedia formats used, including custom HTML, JavaScript and Flash making it into PPC advertisements.

Why do advertisers like and use PPC advertising systems? Advertisers are using specific keywords that are relevant to their business and PPC listings deliver targetted human traffic which is in search of a particular service, product or resource. On top of this, PPC ad campaigns can alleviate the downtime a new website has to endure while it awaits the search engines to index it, and then the time that it most likely will spend kept down in the lower rankings (often refered to as being caught in the sandbox) by the search engines simply because it is "too new" to the scene.

Overcoming The Sandbox Effect
The sandbox I just spoke of is actually a myth, or a theory, that search engine optimization professionals use when explaining the problem with promoting new websites to thier cliente, though. While I agree that there is a certain time of lag as the search engines take notice of a new site, it is often the very search engine optimization techniques employed that keep a website low in the rankings. But the sandbox does not last long, and certainly not for the years these so-called SEO Pros will tell you it does. Of course, as an SEO oriented Web Designer myself, this is a little pet peeve I have and would require a whole new site in order to explain it all.

But the sandbox effect is nothing more than the newness of a website. As a new domain is registered and a new site is created for it, there is absolutely no promotion for it. Once the site goes live, online promotion can start. Obviously, all of the major search engines and directories need to be informed of its presence. Plus, the business should submit to all related and niche search engines and directories. This, in itself can take some time if done correctly (by hand) so that the human submission will have more weight than an automated software submission program.

Once a search engine actually has been notified that a site is available for it to crawl that it didn't previously know about, it still has to index the site. This can take up to 30 or 40 days with the major search engines and very likely will take from 3 to 6 months with smaller niche search engines and directories.

Once a website has been indexed by a major search engine, that search engine has to also index all of the other links to that website in order to give it any kind of a decent ranking. Since it may be some 3 to 6 months (or more) for the related niche search engines and directories to list the site, the newness of a website won't wear off for at least 6 months and many businesses lose interest and dedication to the site by the time they finally are recognized with a decent ranking and wind-up losing any kind of ranking potential.

This is where PPC Advertising becomes such an important resource for a new business. Simply by signing-up with a PPC advertiser such as Overture, Google AdWords, Kanoodle or other pay-per-performance system, a fresh new business that is just on the scene can instantly start buying targetted traffic and selling products and/or services.

This is quite significant, since you have to remember that a large, custom, one-off professionally designed and developed website takes a mininum of a month's in-house workload by staff to get online. This of course, is after grueling out the business name, plan, mission and other details by the suits. Suddenly, you realize that the website itself which was intended to sustain the business may have actually taken quite an investment and once available online the suits again expect this worldwide presence to start succeeeding immediately. No other online advertising or free promotion system can provide the expected results so quickly as PPC advertisements.


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This document last updated & Copyright September 29, 2008
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