I heavily promote two different websites through various pay per click search engines. What I have found is that some engines work well with one site while the performance for the other site is terrible. The performance for one site can be so bad I would typically think the traffic I am getting is illegitimate but my other site will be doing relatively well in the same search engine.
I think to get a real answer to your question you are going to have to try out these search engines yourself to see if they work.
Some examples of the smaller engines I have seen work well with sites (but have seen them perform terribly also):
Just take it slow with these engines. Run tests with different ad copy, bid prices, etc.
You can also search HERE for feedback on evey PPC you have in mind. Sure - you may burn your money trying each and every one, but your time may be better spent in reading some posts here. I think you will not like what you'll find...
I am interested in this question also. I was considering Kanoodle, and have had some success with Findwhat. Anyone else have any input?
Thanks for the replies. I looked at lots of posts and it leaves me thinking Google Adwords is probably one of the most honest.
Problem is, I have a information only site and to place decently on Google, I'll have to spend about $3.00 a click. That is totally out of the question. wow! $300 for 100 clicks!
I'll have to take hobbnet's advice and just keeping trying them. So will do that today. I tried Brainfox and I don't have confidence in them at all.
Just FYI regarding Kanoodle...
I convert just over 1:14 clicks into new user accounts on my sites using Adwords. Using the exact same keywords/descriptions on Kanoodle, my conversions were 1:213. I could understand 1:50 or something like that but one conversion per 213 clicks vs one per 14 clicks throws up a ton of red flags for me.
Yes, I tried Kanoodle a while ago and it ate up the money incredibly quick without a single order. So, I continued to look around.
Tried goclick, 7search, search123, brainfox and lycos adbuyer. Nothing much to speak of with any of them.
I'm beginning to wonder how paying for high search engine placement will be instead of ppc. Or maybe a banner ad.
I've come to the point where I'll just put in $10 and see how it goes with a number of them. At least there are so many, I won't be running out of ppc's to try.
Today, I signed up with atomicbot.com I guess they are pretty new because I don't see any posts about them. I'll post again when I've given them a good go.
Up until recently Findwhat seemed to provide fairly reliable traffic for me, I gave up on the rest, but last month I had big jump in Findwhat fees. Looked at stats and saw what is, of course, fraudulent searches for two specific keyword combos, multiple times per day, in about 10 minute increments, that are rarely used (I know because I do a ton of keyword research for my sites). I called them and emailed, was assured that the matter would be looked into. That was at least 2 weeks ago--no reply.
FindWhat at least makes an attempt to prove it's worth via its Ad Analyzer tool. It's free. If you can place the code on your "charge" page you will even get a full report on your ROI. The best advice is still: use tracking URLs, buy your own ROI tracker. You can find them using Google.
My own, "gut" thought is that Google is the best, but as I said, FindWhat is interested enough in helping its advertisers to provide a tool to help prove its results.
UPDATE: Today received a nice email from FindWhat:
First, I would like to thank you for advertising with FindWhat.com! Thank you for your time and patience in allowing us to complete the traffic review on your account, username "*****" As a result of our research, it has been determined that we are prepared to refund your account $25 due to the increase of unqualified traffic to your website.
Please be assured that FindWhat.com will always do our part to guarantee that your advertisement receives the utmost quality traffic possible. If at anytime, you feel that you are receiving traffic which is invalid or malicious traffic, please feel free to contact our Advertiser Solutions Center with these issues. Our staff is committed to helping you receive the maximum return for your online advertising money.
Representative, Advertiser Solutions
There was also one additional paragraph discussing one keyword that I might want to add a qualifier to due to the number of possible non-targeted searches using that word. It is a seperate issue from the fradulent clicks I contacted them about but I appreciate their taking the time to mention this.
So now, my faith is restored in FindWhat.
Why not look in you log files and see which ppc affiliate sites are sending you the visitors and then just do a direct deal with them and cut out the broker (overture etc) margin?
In my case, I would't cause I am a one person operation with a bunch of sites to tend to (my time spread thin) and I dropped Overture altogether after they did away with the 'grandfathered in' under 5 cent or 10 cent bids. I put the same amount of money I was spending with Overture (before they went up & I dropped out) into targeted magazine print ads and the traffic has been about the same. Maybe a bit better even.
Anyway--if Findwhat decides to kill off the 'grandfathered in' folks like me with under 5 cent bids, I'd have to drop it too.