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The Fascinating History of PPC

history of ppc from experts

Learn the history of PPC from people using it ever since it came to be

Pay per click (PPC) is an advertising revenue model in which companies pay a fee every time a user clicks on their advertisements. PPC is not a new concept, it has been around for over two decades. Read about the origins and history of PPC below.

Launch of Planet Oasis: 1996

  • Planet Oasis launched the first PPC advertising model in 1996. Planet Oasis was a virtual city, featuring different companies as billboards on top of buildings. Users could click on the billboards and be redirected to the company website.  

Companies such as Time Warner, Warner Bros, The New York Times, and Yahoo were among the major companies that paid 10,000$ to be featured on Planet Oasis. Planet Oasis introduced the pay per click fee model however, at that time companies preferred a flat fee model instead. 

Goto and Google Launched: 1998

  • By 1997, Planet Oasis had more than 400 companies registered on its platform. Slowly, the companies were coming to terms with the PPC fee model, and rates varied from 0.005$ to 0.25$ per click. Planet Oasis enjoyed being the only PPC advertiser in 1997, but all this changed in 1998.

Goto was launched in 1998, and it had a similar model to Planet Oasis. Goto caught the attention of many companies by introducing a bidding feature. This feature allowed companies to bid against each other, to determine whose advertisements will be displayed on the website. This was the first time companies started paying for keywords, and the PPC industry got very competitive. Goto operated as a well-indexed search engine, however, due to technological limitations at that time, the bidding process took hours to complete and update on the website.

  • Google, launched in 1997 as a project, was now a fully incorporated company. The domain name Google was purchased and the website was released as a beta. Google had indexed over 60 million web pages at that time.  

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Turn Of The Century: 2000

  • In 1999, Goto launched a real-time keyword bidding feature that allowed companies to bid and reposition their placement in real-time. Goto had their IPO while Google was injected with funds from various venture capitalists.

Google launched its iconic AdWords in 2000, and it helped reshape the PPC industry forever. Google was receiving over 18 million search results per day while more than 350 companies signed up for AdWords in a matter of just a few months since its launch. AdWords provided an enhanced PPC and keyword management experience for companies.  

The War Between Google and Goto: 2002

  • In wake of the new challenges at hand, Goto rebranded itself as Overture Services Inc and formed partnerships with leading companies like MSN and Yahoo to provide platform and PPC advertising. Overture resulted in a 288 million $ PPC revenue in 2001. Around the same time, Google earned 58 million $ PPC revenue from its own platform.

The biggest blow to Overture Services Inc was their contract termination with Earthlink Internet Services, in favor of Google. By 2002, Overture started to suffer from financial difficulties, declining stock prices, and losing revenue. Overture sued Google for a search engine patent while at the same time lost an AOL contract to Google. 

Yahoo Acquires Overture: 2003

  • In a desperate attempt to save itself and its market, Overture purchased All The Web and Alta Vista in an attempt to develop their own search engine. However, due to mounting financial pressure, Overture was acquired by Yahoo in 2003 for almost 1.6 billion $. 

Yahoo incorporated Overture’s PPC model in its own search engine and became Google’s direct competitor. The overture was later renamed Yahoo Search Marketing. 

Stay tuned for our next installment on The Fascinating History of PPC. At Local Marketing Vault, we provide the best and most practical PPC online course. You can become a digital marketing and advertising expert, to help your business grow. 

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