Pay per click (PPC), is an internet advertising model used to drive traffic to websites, in which advertisers pay the publisher (usually the owner of a website) when the ad is clicked. It is simply defined as the amount spent to get an ad clicked.
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In search engines, advertisers typically bid on keywords relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price for each click instead of using a bidding system. PPC ads, also known as “banners,” are displayed on websites or search engines with related content to the one they have agreed to display the ads.
The PPC implements the so-called affiliate model, which offers buying opportunities where people may be browsing. It does this through financial incentives (in the form of a percentage of revenue) to affiliate partner sites. Affiliates provide click-through points to the merchant. It’s a pay-for-performance model: If an affiliate doesn’t generate sales, it doesn’t represent any cost to the merchant. Variations include banner sharing, pay-per-click and revenue sharing programs.
Websites that use PPC ads show an ad when a keyword query matches an advertiser’s keyword list or when a content site displays relevant content. This type of advertising is called “sponsored links” or “sponsored ads” and appears next to, above, or below organic results on search engine results pages or anywhere a web developer chooses on a content site.
The PPC advertising model lends itself to abuse through click fraud, although Google and other engines have implemented automated systems to protect against abusive clicks by competitors or corrupt web developers.