Results of Our Second Tier PPC Search Engine Survey

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Recently we posted a survey that asked which second tier PPC search engine  has generated the best results for you. The goal of this survey was to learn if PPC managers are venturing outside the realm of the “big 3” (i.e. Google, Yahoo, MSN) and if they are, which search engines have garnered the most positive results.

Without further adieu, here are the results of the survey. We recorded 115 respondents and here is what they had to say:


As you can see, the majority of users have not tried the search engines listed within the survey. This indicates that a large number of PPC managers (according to our survey) are sticking to the “big 3.” Also, a substantial percentage of respondents said none of these search engines have worked for them.

The second tier search engine that received the most votes was Ask. And the runner-up was

To generate supplemental traffic, leads, and revenue, these search engines can be a useful resource (if managed and optimized properly). Also, diversifying your search marketing efforts can help stabalize your performance just in case you should incur any fluctuations in the “big 3.” And for certain advertisers, these search engines may even work just as well as Google (gasp!). This is some food for thought when creating a strategy to expand your PPC efforts beyond Google, Yahoo or MSN.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey!

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13 thoughts on “Results of Our Second Tier PPC Search Engine Survey

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  3. Ben from

    While its great to see the number of survey respondents who’ve had a positive experience with, I agree with the comment from “Lindsey” on the initial post about this survey – we’re in a vertical niche (business) which makes direct comparison between and general search engines (1st, 2nd or 3rd tier) difficult.

    Our B2B advertisers rarely make an “either-or” comparison between advertising on general search engines and They realize that both are essential for reaching business buyers online throughout the buying process:

    General search engines provide traffic volume and often that “last click” navigational search visitor from a branded term. ~69% of the US adult population used a general search engine in January ’09 (comScore) so search marketers need to figure out which general search engines work best – your survey contributes to the knowledge here. – a searchable directory + 30k business how-to guides – provides access to a high quality, concentrated audience of business buyers actively looking for solutions but who have not yet decided on a specific product/service/vendor. Lower traffic volume than from general search engines, of course, but very good CPA given audience quality.

    For search marketers, I think it always comes down to the most effective ways to reach your target audience online throughout the buying process. Sites like, other vertical directory or search sites, etc. are places people go beyond general search engines to learn more but are not used or thought of as substitutes for general search engines. Again, its not “either-or”, its “and” when thinking about tier 1 general search engines and a vertical site like

  4. Sue

    Pay per click is important but don’t forget about pay per action AKA cost per action (CPA). Clients who use CPA affiliate marketing models pay ONLY for the clients they actually acquire, generating true ROI on every marketing dollar invested. It’s highly-targeted, low-risk and high-performance marketing at its best. My experience at hydranetwork has shown me that CPA reduces wasted ad dollars.

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  6. Peter

    Does anybody know the size of the “Second Tier” PPC search market? What’s that in relation to the overall PPC search market, including the big 3?

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