Alternatives to Google PPC

Alternatives to Google PPC

Aug 18 2016 | by SARA CRESSWELL

It is well-known that Google has by far the biggest share of search engine traffic; in fact latest stats from March of this year showed that more than 85% of all search traffic goes through the search engine. 

However, does this mean that all other search engines should be ignored when it comes to your paid advertising strategy?

The chart below shows the breakdown in traffic between search engines, with Google, Bing and Yahoo monopolising almost 99% of searches:

Based on this data, in order to ensure that your adverts are reaching the widest audience possible, advertising strategies should incorporate Bing and Yahoo as well.


Bing is the second most widely used search engine in the UK, and accounts for almost 9% of searches. As the default search engine used with Internet Explorer and Edge, it also has a particularly good reach within organisations where these are the default browsers (the education sector and NHS being two of the biggest ones). Therefore, if you are targeting your adverts at either of these organisations, then Bing advertising could prove to be very effective.

There are less advertising formats available on Bing in comparison to Google, but you can advertise through either the search or shopping networks.

The search network utilises pay per click advertising in the same way as Google and paid adverts appear at the top, bottom and right-hand of a Bing search:

Depending on the competitiveness of the search term, there will be three or four adverts at the top of the page, five down the right and a further two at the bottom. This means that there is a lot more visibility for advertising on Bing than on Google; demonstrating another reason why Bing advertising should be considered when creating a paid advertising strategy.

In our experience advertising across the Bing network can also prove better value for money. Bing advertising campaigns run by AlphaQuad in the past have seen a 32% higher conversion rate than adverts on Google, while the cost per click paid on Google was also 143% higher.

For most clients, the real measure of an effective campaign is ROI, and Bing also won out here, with the average cost per conversion proving to be 224% cheaper on Bing than on Google.

As we can see from the chart at the top of this post, the reach is significantly smaller for Bing than Google, and so the platform shouldn’t necessarily be considered as a substitute, but it could be a mistake to leave Bing advertising out of your strategy altogether.


Yahoo’s search and native advertising solution is called Yahoo Gemini and includes search, display and native adverts.

Adverts can appear across the whole of the Yahoo network, which covers the Yahoo Homepage, Yahoo Mail, Tumblr and Yahoo news and weather apps, as well as the search engine.

As with Google advertising you can refine your targeting by age, gender, location and interests to ensure that you reach the right audience for your products and services. However, the big advantage of Yahoo advertising over Google and Bing is that it comes with a dedicated account manager who will optimise the campaigns on your behalf, helping you to ensure that you get the most out of your budget.

Yahoo’s native adverts also offer a different solution to that available on the Google Display Network, where adverts sit in between editorial content such as in the example below (third article down highlighted with the ‘sponsored’ tag) and therefore integrate more seamlessly with the page:

The key to success with native advertising is making sure that your adverts read more like a news story and less like a sales message, and therefore your landing page needs to reflect this and be more informative too. Native adverts are particularly effective at raising awareness of new products or services much earlier in the buying process where customers are still doing research and information gathering.

From previous experience of managing Yahoo native advertising campaigns at AlphaQuad, the CTR we see from Yahoo ads is very similar to the Google Display network - an average of 0.13% on Yahoo compared to 0.18% on Google. However the average cost per click on Google Display was 88% higher making Yahoo slightly better value for money. We also saw twice as many conversions come through from Yahoo compared to Google. 

As with Bing, the numbers coming from Yahoo are much smaller than Google and again it isn’t recommended that Yahoo is considered instead of a Google strategy, but for optimum results AlphaQuad would recommend testing advert effectiveness on all three channels to maximise the effectiveness of campaigns.

At AlphaQuad we are experts at managing paid advertising strategies, from design and implementation of advertising through to the point of conversion, so if you need help with your advertising then get in touch with us today.

Sara Cresswell

Alternatives to Google PPC