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PPC, oder Pay-Per-Click, represents a variation of search engine advertising where campaigns are getting billed on a strictly per click basis.
Contrary to PPC, PPV or pay-per-view variations of search engine advertising also exist, where not the number of clicks is decisive, rather the number of impressions (how frequently the banner or text ads are displayed on the search engine results page or advertising portal), as well as PPA or pay per action, where the billing operates based on a fixed and tracked action (for example, when a potential customer contacts the company).
Nowadays, PPC is the dominant model in the market segment for companies with smaller advertising budgets, because the costs and the ROI are significantly easier to predict and control them with other search engine advertising methods.
With Pay-Per-View, as a contrast, it can be difficult to predict how many percent of the visitors who see a banner or text ad, will actually click on it.
Although, earlier, numerous different providers were present in the PPC market, in the recent years a significant consolidation has taken place, and today the major remaining provider is just a single company - Google.
Microsoft's adCenter, the PPC interface for the Bing search engine, is the largest competitor, however it also has less than 10% of the market share compared to over 80% for Google in most Western countries (however the situation is different in several large markets such as Russia and China, where major domestic search engines own the majority of the market).
In Switzerland the situation is fairly simple - over 90% of people searching online are using Google, so AdWords is clearly the PPC program to primarily focus on in search engine advertising campaigns.
* Nur verfügbar für neue Google AdWords Konten mit Anschrift in der Schweiz