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Pay-per-Call: Hype vs. Reality


Pay-per-call advertising is being touted by many as the next big thing in search marketing. With eBay justifying its recent purchase of Skype by citing the potential of pay-per-call, and AOL, Microsoft and others jumping into the game, it's a hot topic. But is pay-per-call a viable option for search marketers today?

When AOL launched its pay-per-call program last April, I took a more in-depth look at the opportunities offered to search marketers in A Closer Look at Pay-per-Call Search Marketing. We've also had panels covering pay-per-call programs at Search Engine Strategies (see the SearchDay articles Pay-Per-Call: A New Avenue for Search Marketers and Search Advertising that Makes the Phone Ring for reports on these sessions).

ClickZ columnist Pamela Parker took a closer look at the recent activity in the pay-per-call space, and concluded that despite the hype, things are really just getting started.

"When I say the pay-per-call concept has jumped the shark, I mean the acquisitions and related hype have nowhere left to go. However, the reality of pay-per-call, for both media companies and advertisers, has only just begun," she wrote.

After talking with a number of key players, she concluded that the advertisers best served by pay-per-call programs are local businesses, service businesses, those selling high-consideration purchases, or any combination of the three. She offers excellent case studies with a comparison of the pricing models and success factors in Pay-Per-Call: Tales from the Trenches.

Want to discuss? Join the Are You Ready for Pay-Per-Call? conversation in our Search Engine Watch forums.

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