Yahoo Marketing Solutions, Google Adwords, MSN Adcenter…Who’s the best?

Giving a specific answer of who is "the best" in this category would be nearly impossible.  However, I have played around with traffic from nearly every PPC engine out there and would definitely say these 1st tier engines are the only place that most of you will want to play.  Most of the PPC engines outside of the 1st tier tend to have much poorer quality traffic, which is never fun to get.

So what IS the difference between these 3 big dogs? (soon to be 2 possibly)…

Yahoo! Marketing Solutions

Yahoo doesn’t get nearly the amount of traffic that Google contains, but I have noticed that most of the traffic I receive from yahoo converts better than my traffic at google.  I have never had any problems with Yahoo and they have been improving their PPC system dramatically over the last year.

One drawback of Yahoo that I, and other marketers, have noticed, is that many times keywords that have been approved and running fine…will all of a sudden become disabled, or declined, or simply disappear.

When this first started happening to me, I was worried…called Yahoo, and got some BS excuse like always.  After asking around…this happens to almost everyone I know who uses yahoo and keeps tabs on their accounts to notice it happening.

Other than this small drawback I would say Yahoo is probably the best PPC engine for any PPC beginner to start out at since the traffic is generally cheaper than adwords and the clicks usually convert better.

MSN Adcenter

It took me awhile to get used to MSN.  I get quite a few campaigns in MSN that convert pretty well also, however it seems to be much more hit or miss than Yahoo.  Bid prices at MSN are comparable to Yahoo, maybe a bit lower.  However the traffic seems to flow even less than Yahoo.

Another downfall I feel is that MSN’s interface is really hard and confusing to work with.  I have been quite surprised to not see MSN make any decent changes like Yahoo and Google have.

I think MSN will continue to slowly grow in this area, however with the recent news that they may be purchasing Yahoo, that would help them tremendously.

MSN is also a good engine for beginners to dabble with since their is less traffic, cheaper prices, and it still converts pretty well.

Google Adwords

Here is the REAL big dog.  Google has the largest mass of traffic compared to the other engines.  Google’s traffic can convert really well or poor depending on how you run your campaign.  One thing is for sure, if you are a newbie, you need to be extremely careful when setting up your campaigns.  Make sure to use negative keywords, only exact and phrase match for your keyword types, and run everything through a tracking program to make sure you aren’t paying out loads of money on traffic that isn’t converting.

Unlike Yahoo and MSN, Googly’s adwords has sort of revolutionalized the way PPC works.  They continually are working with things and changing their algorithms to produce the best user experience.

Because of this, I recommend not to use adwords unless you know what you are doing.  Take your time testing and learning using Yahoo or MSN and then after you get some experience under your belt, then come back to Google and start pounding at its door.

Let me know what your favorite PPC engines are.  I know there are a few 2nd tier PPC engines out there that are pretty decent, leave a comment and let me know what you have found in your experiences.