10 Alternatives to Google AdWords

By , guestblogger


Today’s post is brought to you by PPC Hero Ally Aleh Barysevich. Aleh is Marketing Director at Link-Assistant.com, the maker of SEO and social media software. The company’s flagship products include SEO PowerSuite and BuzzBundle. You can catch him on his Google+ here.



There’s no doubt Google AdWords is the leading PPC network on the web, which you should use first and foremost for your paid advertising. However, there are cases when you have to look for alternatives. There are three main reasons you might need doing that:


1)     You don’t get enough traffic from Google AdWords.


2)     It’s too expensive: the bids you pay per click are lower than the revenue per visitor you get. Though there are other ways to overcome this issue, like using displaynetwork only, misspelled or negative keywords, etc., still in many cases you just have to look for an alternative advertising platform.


3)     Your niche doesn’t match Google Adwords’ terms of services.


In this post I’ll give a short overview of second-tier networks you can add to your pay per click mix.


1.     Yahoo! Bing Network


Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 9.35.25 AM


As the name suggests, this is an ad network by the two other major search engines. Apart from Yahoo! and Bing, the marketplace features syndicated partner sites such as Facebook, Amazon plus networks like The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. As of February 2013, the Yahoo! Bing Network accounts for 30% of the online search share in the US. The main advantage of Bing Ads compared to Google AdWords is great support service: no automated reply templates, real people providing actionable tips to solve your problems. Bing Ads have lower prices compared to Google AdWords. Traffic is often lower than that in Google AdWords, yet it’s of really high quality.


You can sign up to Yahoo! Bing network here.


2.     BuySellAds


BuySellAds' website


BuySellAds is by far one of the largest networks you can use to effectively disseminate your banner ads around the web. According to BuySellAds team, they have a huge turnabout, selling over 6 billion ad impressions each month.It’s a very convenient marketplace with transparent processes, which provides a good choice of high-quality sites, especially in internet and tech niches. To buy ads, sign up here.


3.     AdRoll


AdRoll's website


AdRoll is a retargeting platform, which is one of the top third-party tools officially approved by Facebook as providing access to FBX. Apart from FBX, AdRoll supports Google AdWords and has its own ad network. However, their strongest point is really FBX. According to our in-house experience, both AdRoll’s prices and conversion rates are relatively high. 2-week free trial can be started here.


4.     7Search


7search's website


7Search is one of the oldest second-tier paid advertising networks. The system has a minimum deposit of $25. The traffic is pretty cheap, so you can run a decent test for your keywords even with this deposit. On the downside, the traffic quality is low and there’ll be very little traffic for long-tail keywords, so you really need a bit of experiment to see if it works for you. 7Search Advertising account can be created here.


5.     Infolinks


Infolinks' website


Infolinks is a marketplace that supports in-text advertising, which, as creators put it, is a great way to “overcome banner blindness.” Fair enough. There are four types of ad units to choose from: inframe, insearch, intag, and intex. You can submit your advertising information to Infolinks’ Self-Serve Marketplace here, though it looks like there’s some maintenance running at the moment.


6.     Kontextua


Kontextua's website


Similar to Infolinks, Kontexua is an in-text advertising network. The major version of this service is in Spanish, so if you’re interested in the Spanish-language market, it’s definitely worth a try. Anyway they have an English version as well, so you can use it anyway. You can apply to join Kontextua as an advertiser here.


7.     DNTX.com


DNTX's website


DNTX.com is a direct traffic navigation platform, i.e. it provides advertisers with the traffic of parked domains. Putting it into simple words, with this system you can get people who type in an exact URL of a relevant site they once visited. This site is no longer active, so they’re redirected to your site instead. Potentially you can get traffic that converts better and costs less that Google AdWords. It might work really well if you find a suitable EMD domain. When you look through the list of sites in DNTX.com, it’s not always clear from the domain name if the site is match thematically, so check relevancy additionally at archive.org. You can sign up to DNTX.com here.


8.     AdLandmark


Ad Landmark's website


AdLandmark is a sort of advertising network for software providers. To be more specific, it’s a pay per download service. Software advertisers submit free versions of their tools to the system, and they become available for download on multiple shareware sites. Merchant signup is available here.


9.     Sponsored Tweets


Sponsoredtweets.com's website


Sponsored Tweets is a Twitter advertising platform, which connects sponsors with Twitter users on a pay-per-Tweet basis. On the system’s core features is transparency. Advertisers can choose partners according to geography, following, category. Each link tweeted has a link that tracks the message and integrates with Google Analytics. This allows advertisers to track back and see if the ads are cost-effective. You can sign up as advertiser here.


10.  ADsmonster


AdsMonster's website


ADsmonster is another alternative ad network in the sector of AdWords alternatives, which provides both low and high-quality traffic which will vary from very cheap to premium. Depending on your niche, you might find it useful. ADsmonster accept PayPal and most other standard payment options. Advertisers can register here.


Bottom Line


As you can see, alternatives to AdWords are a mixed bag. Some of them are more focused on social media, others (especially the in-text options) give access to a diverse blogging audience. Though it’s different from one network to another, we may say that the major disadvantage in general is the traffic quality. You might not have the same conversion rate with second-tier advertising networks as you would with Google AdWords and even Yahoo! Bing network. Still, bid costs leave room for experiments, traffic is cheap and abundant, so you can expect a good ROI.


Image credit: Alex_Doubovitsky via iStockphoto

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41 thoughts on “10 Alternatives to Google AdWords

  1. Darren Wynn

    Good Article, I would think twice about paid tweet services though. The one mentioned here in particular looks out dated as a service

    1. Aleh Barysevich

      Hi Darren and thank you for your comment! I assume you’re not a big fan of paid tweets, yet could you suggest a service (other than Sponsored Tweets) readers could make better use of?

      1. Darren Wynn

        I would use paid tweets for general branding and creating buzz around a product for larger clients, but it would be with a service that gave high level reporting on reach.

        I would suggest though in terms of this article that if Google is too expensive in terms of ROI, that paid tweets are probably going to be a lot worse. AdRoll offer rolling contracts and minimal initial spend, I would start there

      2. Bilal Ahmad

        Hi Aleh,
        Could you please tell me what would be a good alternative for Adwords Search network? I am confused about what to choose! I was spending a lot more on Adwords ($5,000) a month. But they banned our industry(Third Party Tech Support) And now i need to move on without Adwords. What would you recommend me? Any help would be highly appreciated. 🙂

    1. Aleh Barysevich

      Thank for stopping by! AdRoll is perhaps the best network for facebook re-targeting, though it’s a bit pricey.

      1. Raju Paliwal

        Aleh, Do you think facebook re-targeting is good option for increasing hotel bookings. Actually my budget is limited. though i am getting Good result from google, Want to try facebook for decresing CPA.

        1. Aleh Barysevich

          Raju, it depends on how well you’ll be able to define your target audience. But in general, Facebook re-targeting is more expensive compared to Google AdWords.

  2. Clickthroo

    If you are using any of these alternatives, be sure that you are tracking everything including placements.

    At least one on that list can provide a whole lot of junk traffic!

    1. Aleh Barysevich

      Hi Ayman, I can’t say 7search rocks, but it might work for some niches. When it comes to Google AdWords alternatives, there are no really 100% remarkable players. AdRoll’s own network, for example, is not very strong too. Yet my point is that sometimes webmasters have to be looking for services to replace Google AdWords, and they need to experiment with other providers. There are success stories with 7search too.

      1. Ayman Albarbary

        Hi Aleh, when it comes to advertising, I am sure that I will use as many options as I can when I am stuck with adverse niche. Even there are some success stories on 7search, but the fail stories are many, though. However, I won’t put 7search as Google Adwords alternative. Generally speaking, well doe with the others Aleh, and I am looking forward for some more articles from you as I never get enough from your blog guys.

    1. Aleh Barysevich

      Hi Marc, I’ve never come across AdMarketplace, but it sounds like a great addition to the list. Any success with this board?

      1. Marc Jerde

        I haven’t actually used it, but we are starting to test pretty soon. I’ll let you know what we find if you’d like. You are correct thought, it looks like a pretty neat option to capture people outside of the primary search engines.

  3. MiramarOne.com

    We seem to have also forgot Facebook ads direct. Although maybe not the best convertor its certainly a good option to try out.

  4. Prashant

    Hello Frnds. can you tell me please, how to target browser toolbar search for search advertising PPC. like AVG toolbar etc.

  5. Spook SEO

    Adwords could be a little problematic but they could also be the best
    that you can get when you are still working with the basics of Google. If you
    really cannot fathom the way it works, then, make sure that you are working
    with a pretty accurate and a legit substitute.

  6. Steve Squier

    Can’t play too conservatively when you’re doing PPC. You have to bid to win that traffic. You should be receiving >90% impression share of the keywords you are bidding on and that means bidding a little higher sometimes. What happens is that you have to have an optimized sales process to justify the ability to bid higher. If you make more per sale, you can bid more per click, and squash your competition. My buddy Simon would be willing to help anybody that wants help with their PPC campaigns, just give him a call. His number is 325-446-1507 .

  7. Daniel

    If you use Adtomatik you will increase your revenue and you will obtain very good results in less time than other ad networks.


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