Alternatives to Google Adwords: a comparison

10th September 2013

Google AdWords may be the biggest of the paid search systems, but it is by no means the only paid search platform available to advertisers. Bing has its own highly successful advertising platform and there are independent offerings such as Chitika and Bidvertiser that can provide you with high-quality traffic without eating into too much of your PPC budget. If you are looking for an alternative toAdWords because you don’t like the recent Enhanced Campaign change, you’ll be pleased to know that there are lots of other good places to spend your ad budget.

Here is a quick look at some of the best alternatives to AdWords.

Facebook’s Ad Platform

Facebook’s ad platform isn’t specifically a paid search platform, but it is a brilliant way to attract targeted traffic. Facebook allows you to target users by device, location, age, gender and a range of other demographic stats. The CTR on Facebook’s display ads isn’t particularly high because many Facebook users are ad-blind, but you can be confident that when someone does click on an ad, it’s because that ad was highly relevant to them. This means that the traffic coming from Facebook is of a very high quality.

Bing Ads

Bing has made several improvements to its advertising platform in recent months. It doesn’t quite have the reach or the potential click volume of Google AdWords, but it does have a sophisticated admin panel with the ability to import and export campaign data in a range of formats, generally affordable PPC prices and powerful targeting options that ensure the clicks you get are likely to convert well. Bing isn’t quite ready for the top spot yet, but it is getting better every month.


Kontera is not a paid search company — it is a company that provides in-text ads on a wide range of websites. Kontera can be a good source of traffic because users are more likely to click on links in the copy of a website than they are to click on an ad in the sidebar. The cost per click is fairly low with Kontera too. However, there is one major downside to the system. The relevancy of the ads that Kontera displays can be fairly poor, so while you pay very little per click, your conversion rate may suffer and your bounce rate will go up. If you’re going to try Kontera, start with a small campaign to make sure that you aren’t throwing money down the drain.

LinkedIn Direct Ads

LinkedIn’s ad system can be a great source of high-quality traffic if your website is part of a niche that has a lot of LinkedIn users. Just by using LinkedIn you are limiting your potential clicks to a self-selecting audience of professionals. However, this targeting comes at a price. LinkedIn ads have a much higher cost per click than other platforms and the tracking is fairly poor. But if your target audience is professionals, then what better way to reach them than on a professional networking site?

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