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You are also correct that you are listed at the top of the search results, but they are seperated from the search results and it has to be shown that they are paid listings.
Users are not stupid, and they will know that these paid listings may not be the most relevant site to their search. A top 3 listing will produce more traffic than an Overture listing...hands down.
May I ask why you want banners more than PPC listings? Maybe there is something I am missing.
I do not agree that a top three ranking on MSN will beat an Overture PPC ranking hands down. One of my competitors has NO search engine rankings and his site lists a product for $49.98 and everyone else sells this same product for $57.00 or more. His company sells more of this product line than anyone in the country.
I use GOOGLE and Overture for searches but if I am looking for the best price on something I want to buy I always use Overture. Overture rarely fails when it comes to prices. Also, it is getting harder and harder to get keywords listed on Overture. Yesterday they tried to pull one of my listings because it had the word "Germa" in it. After I explained this was the name of the product, they let me keep it.
Most people that search the internet are not good at. Even companies that have been on the internet for several years don't know how to find and SEO company that does a good job.
I have six PPC accounts set up with over 6,000 terms.