On method of online advertising on web sites is called Pay per click. A web site displays an ad from an advertising service on a web page for a particular product. Each time the web page is presented to a viewer, the ad is shown. If the viewer ignores the ad, then no cost is incurred for the ad. If, however, a viewer clicks on the displayed ad with their mouse, the click is recorded and a cost is levied on the advertiser. The cost to the advertiser is split between the advertising service, such as Google Adsense and the web operator who manages the particular web page. The amount of the cost varies according to many factors. If the ad is displayed on a popular web site, there may be a high cost per click. The ads are established by businesses using marketing applications such as Google Adwords. Other operating parameters examine the popularity of the web page content in order to establish a pay per click cost. Other factors influence the cost but details of which are not released by the advertising service.
Pay per click ads are usually found in a small boxed area on a web page. The location of the box on the screen varies. Some web operators will establish an ad box at either side of the web page, or possibly both sides. The web page content will display next to the ad box. Other web operators will put a rectangular box across the whole web page ahead of the page content. Others put the ad box across the web page at the bottom. Some web operators will put multiple ad boxes on a page. There is no standard for pay per click ad placements on a web page. Web operators attempt to locate ad boxes on areas of the web pages where viewers will not be unduly distracted by them.
Some ad boxes for pay per click ads present text ads to viewers and others present graphical ads. Certain ad boxes are variable. They may present text pay per click ads for one web page viewer and graphical ads for the next. Control of the ads appearing in the pay per click ad boxes is managed by the advertising service. The web operator reserves an area of the web page for use by the advertising service. A small amount of web code is placed on the web page referencing the name of the advertising service. This code will identify the web operator to the advertising service each time the web page is viewed. This allows proper recording of pay per click revenue to the account of the web operator.
With the advent of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, techniques, a large number of Internet web sites participate in pay per click advertising. The revenue that accrues to the web operator allows a web site to be profitable. In the early days of the Internet, some web sites established pay per subscription service in order to generate revenue for the web operator. In time this became fairly ineffective as new web sites were established to compete heavily for the revenue. Many web sites operated banner advertising which generated revenue regardless of whether viewers clicked on the displayed ads. Such banner advertising is still used but it is not as common as pay per click advertising. This is due to the fact that modern pay per click advertising is very flexible for advertising services, web operators and web page viewers alike. As the content of the web page is prepared, the advertising service makes a determination of the type of ad that should be displayed in the ad box. The ads will be tailored to match the displayed content of the ad. This makes the ad much more relevant to the web page viewer. Relevant ads are much more likely to be acted upon by the web page viewer. When such action includes a mouse key press event, then the ad triggers the pay per click cost specific to that ad. Depending on the success of ad boxes, the amount of advertising that viewers see may be reduced. Because pay per click ads generate revenue for the web operator, many premium web sites are free for viewers to use. Costs are covered by the advertisers who pay the advertising service for each click.
In addition to pay per click ads on web content pages, some advertising services allow methods for web operators to display ads. Domains that have been reserved, but not populated with active web content, are often programmed with ad boxes attached to pay per click advertising services. Some Internet email messages sent between correspondents will have pay per click advertising included with the message. Some promotional videos are displayed on web screens prior to the actual web content being displayed. Often these videos contain a pay per click advertising feature.
Many web operators have found that it is quite lucrative to establish web sites that contain ad boxes for pay per click ads. In addition to the dynamic ads that are provided by advertising services, the web operator may establish a box with affiliated pay per click ads. These ads display a particular product from an advertiser. The web operator is a direct affiliate of the advertiser and there is usually no advertising service involved. When an affiliate ad is displayed on a web page, a viewer may click on it. Rather than an unknown cost for the click, the affiliate program usually establishes a known payment amount. In many cases, there will be a pay per click cost for the affiliate ad that is triggered when a viewer clicks on the ad. If the viewer then completes a financial transaction with the advertiser, such as a subscription or a purchase, then the web operator is granted an additional payment. The pay per click and additional revenue are offered by the advertiser as incentives for the web operator. The web operator picks particular affiliate ads to display based on the amount of pay per click and additional revenue offered by the affiliate program. The web operator may also choose a particular affiliate program based on the probability of viewers taking advantage of the program.
Pay per click delivery is a very flexible way to show relevant advertising to the web page viewers. Advertisers like the concept as ads are specifically targeted to those potential customers most likely to benefit from the service offered. Web page viewers can interact with pay per click ads or not while enjoying premium web content for free.