Buying an ad in a magazine or newspaper is simple. You pay your money, you design your ad, you choose your space, and they run it. Buying an ad online, especially through a search engine is not that simple. Below is some of the terminology to help you understand online advertising.
Pay for Inclusion (PFI) – this is when you pay a fee to a directory or search engine to get listed, or to expedite the process of getting listed, or to “enhance” your listing. Yahoo currently charges a fee for inclusion.
Pay per Click (PPC) – this is when you pay for a “sponsored” listing; however you only pay when a visitor clicks on your ad and visits your site. On content (regular) web sites you might select a page for your ad, Search engines allow to you choose a keyword term, then your ad appears when a visitor uses your term in a search.
Data feeds – this makes sense for sites that have a catalog of items for purchase. Sites such as Yahoo, Froogle, and BizRate ask you to send a “feed” of your database of items and they will index your products on their shopping sites. Often these services charge on a Pay per Click basis.
Affiliations – larger sites, such as Amazon, place ads on content (regular) web sites and pay only when a visitor clicks through the ad and makes a purchase. Unlike the other ads described here, affiliations are generally controlled and maintained by the vendor. (Next week I’ll talk about affiliations and other programs that might help generate revenue if you have content site.)
Some web sites will still run the simplified pay-per-month type of ads. Similar to the print ad, you pay your fee, choose your placement and they run your ad.