What is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising?
Pay-per-Click advertising refers to media bought on a per-click, or CPC, basis. If no clicks occur, the advertiser does not pay anything. Such media types are often available on networks such as the Google Display Network, or walled gardens such as major social media platforms.
How does PPC advertising work?
The buying process within each network or walled-garden platform includes only requests native to the platform, in contrast to exchange buying where external buyers compete for inventory. As a result, the network ranks all advertisers trying to buy a spot at any given time, determines which ad to show, and charges the advertiser only when a click occurs.
Google Ads is the largest advertising network and includes millions of websites for display and video advertising, in addition to Google-owned YouTube and Google’s search engine. Formats within Google Ads, although more restrictive, follow the basic native, static, rich media, and video formats.
Social media formats include a variety of native formats discussed on our Native Advertising page. Often, video formats on social are bought on a CPM basis rather than CPC to account for advertisers’ objectives.
Native networks are examples in which most, or all, of the buying activity occurs within the interface or APIs of the platform. Formats include the typical examples found in our Native Advertising section.
Regional networks with limited capabilities for integrations support CPC buying, but often lack the scale or tools for any other optimization models. Their formats vary greatly.