Experiences w/ Smaller Traffic Sources

Just thought I’d share a quick experience I’ve had these past couple weeks dealing with the smaller search engines. I’m sure others have had great success with them and this post isn’t meant to be any “guide”, it’s just what I’ve experienced.

I have a niche running now and it’s doing very well, actually better than any campaign I’ve ever run. My big meat of traffic here came from Google, but I wanted to expand and test out a bunch of smaller traffic sources to see what would happen and try and boost the revenue up a little more. Here’s what I tested and how it went :

Looksmart – always hated Looksmart but figured I’d test it. Sent a bunch of clicks with 0 conversions, total bust here and I’ll probably never even bother with them again.

Ask.com – this was the highest volume, I hit my $250 budget easily every day. Shame I spent $750 without a single conversion, the links were working and everything so it was just the traffic. No beans here.

Miva – this was my first time playing around with Miva. Their system is horrible and errored out a hundred times before I just gave up with it. Send a few clicks in a few days before I just paused it. Bust.

MSN/Yahoo –
these guys are 2 of the big 3, but I’ve just grown to dislike them more and more over time, especially Yahoo. Yahoo tries to copy Google in almost every aspect and just fails bigtime over it. MSN isn’t too bad, I guess I just have bad luck over there because it doesn’t convert that well.

Pretty much I learned that with this niche at least, I’m going to stick primarily to Google content. It’s just not worth it to mess with the others when even if they profited, would make 1/20 of what Google makes because of the drop in volume.

And in general, I’ll probably just stick with Google, Facebook, and Myspace for my traffic sources. They’re all a pain to work with in 1 way or another, but they all do work if you can figure them out.


  1. December 27, 2008

    When I run affiliate marketing campaigns, I usually just stick with Google, MSN, and Yahoo. I feel those convert the best CPC. I’m afraid to venture out into some of the smaller search engines because I feel I won’t get any retun on my investment.

  2. December 27, 2008

    Beside Google, I’ve had some, emphasis on ‘some’, success with MSN.

    Don’t like yahoo either. I’ve never tried Miva and Looksmart, and it doesn’t look like I should :)

  3. December 27, 2008

    Very interesting. I was doing the same thing the past two weeks and had all the same experiences as you (except I didn’t try Miva).

  4. December 27, 2008

    Seems like pretty solid advice, but would you suggest Yahoo! or MSN for beginners, or just stick with Google from the beginning?

  5. johnysc430
    December 27, 2008

    you have no idea what you’re talking about. Stop misleading affiliates.

  6. December 27, 2008

    I said it WASN’T a guide, just my experiences.

  7. December 27, 2008

    If you’re running search, MSN is a decent place to start.

  8. December 27, 2008

    I’m a fan of Yahoo. I think that their traffic converts better than Google’s. Albeit, the volum simply doesn’t compare to google’s.

  9. December 27, 2008

    What do you think was misleading about this article? You should follow up if you have a valid argument… Otherwise your comment is pointless.

  10. December 27, 2008

    He is talking about CONTENT NETWORK campaigns, not search!

  11. December 28, 2008

    You should try 7Search.com, so far I got great CPA results with it…

  12. December 28, 2008

    I’ve had horrible results with Miva. I deposited $200 and virtually copied our Google Adwords settings and keywords. Our AdWords campaign has an excellent CTR and conversion rate and we usually spend about $15 per conversion.

    We blew through $200 in TWO DAYS on Miva and ZERO conversions. I will not be using them again. It seems to me that their system has remained completely unchanged since Miva bought FindWhat (or maybe it’s gotten worse). We used to use FindWhat with some success (though not as high CTR and conversion rate as Adwords).

    Haven’t used MSN Ads that much, but am considering giving them a try…

  13. Toppy
    December 28, 2008


    What do you think of TLA (Text-Link-Ads). I like their interface, but haven’t really invested in them.


  14. johnysc430
    December 28, 2008

    exactly and the other networks have viable converting traffic.

  15. December 29, 2008

    Youre kidding right?? its not april fools day, its christmas, looks like you must be buying small presents.

  16. December 29, 2008

    similar experience here, if it’s not google then it’s not worth it. the quality of the traffic with these smaller sites is terrible.

  17. December 29, 2008

    Yes, those are really bad facts. It is really sad that we don’t have any small traffic backup in other search engines for advertising. Again, i have seen some success, but i guess it really depends on niche you are promotion, but the fact is that you need a lot of luck to hit gold with small traffic sources.

  18. Raj
    December 30, 2008

    This guys a clown tested like 2 offers did bad and tells everyone to not use them. People do your own research and test. This is coming from a guy who made $100 last month cus hes a reeeeeeeeetard

  19. December 30, 2008

    Honest to god Paul I love your no BS, straight to the point way of writing! Love it! Love it ! Love it!

  20. December 31, 2008

    I also had a bad experience with Miva.And who hadn’t?

  21. December 31, 2008

    I agree. Those small search engines never seem to work. I prefer to stick with google.

  22. January 1, 2009

    Wow. Thanks for this insightful post. I appreciate you experimenting for us, and then sharing the results, saving us the time and money having to learn these lessons ourselves.

  23. January 2, 2009

    Yup, same here. Yahoo works good for me…

  24. January 2, 2009

    I didn’t have much success with MSN, but Yahoo works well for me.

  25. January 3, 2009

    Here in South Africa Google is the most successful avenue by a country mile!

  26. January 4, 2009

    Same with me :D.. Yahoo works best

  27. January 4, 2009

    Great information…thanks and this will save me some time.

  28. January 4, 2009

    I prefer to stick with google than concentrate on yahoo or msn. Most of the quality traffic is referred by google.

  29. January 6, 2009

    Looksmart and Miva are pathetic. I’m not sure what is really going on with Miva but the support is horrible, interface is a disaster and it just doesn’t convert. Looksmart… Should be renamed “Lookdumb”.

  30. xentech
    January 9, 2009

    I’ve had very very good conversions with MSN, but always in niches where they just can’t provide the volume. There system is not too shabby either, still not a touch on Google.

  31. January 12, 2009

    I stand for Yahoo as well.

  32. January 13, 2009

    I am really surprised by this post, can believe you’re not enjoying other traffic sources besides google.

    Seems like a recipe for another crash to me…

  33. January 18, 2009

    I have never had any success until recently with Yahoo. One of my ZangoCash type sites got ranked #1 on yahoo and the traffic is slowlllly coming in. Google def. domaintes the SERPS.

  34. January 19, 2009

    I’m only getting traffic from little search engines, I mean my blog is unable to hold a position in big search engines like Google, MSN, YAHOO. I’m satisfied with because I m getting all this traffic without spending any thing, even not done hard work like search engine optimization and links building.

  35. January 21, 2009

    I think Google is best for most content niches. They are just the best at what they do including keeping a competitive advantage within their area. It’s definately better for me. MSN and Yahoo are way behind.

  36. January 22, 2009

    Interesting post.

    I have tried smaller se like goclick, looksmart etc.

    They simply make you miss google.

    Their traffic is near to useless and you have to test a lot to find a good one.

  37. January 22, 2009

    im testing traffic sources for months now and social networkin sites r briging me almost 3k daily =D

    not bad for my small site

  38. February 2, 2009

    I have never try it before.

  39. February 7, 2009

    Any traffic is good traffic in my book. But Google probably does outdo the others at the moment.

  40. February 8, 2009

    It is interesting to observe how different the traffic is on the various networks. For example, there is even a noticeable different between traffic on Google and MSN, not to mention Ask.com and minor networks.

  41. February 8, 2009

    I have been blogging for almost 6 months now and average about 50 unique visitors a day. I want to increase this figure to 100 by the end of March 2009. I am technically challenged and not able to implement all SEO steps. Another problem I face is that I write on a wide range of topics on my blog. I know one has to be focussed but I really like a lot of things.

    Any tips for increasing traffic and becoming more focussed on things I write about?

  42. February 17, 2009

    I also noticed traffic from different search engines results differently, for example I see higher income each time when I see the traffic increase from google, at other hand even I have good traffic from yahoo it does not convert well on adsense, maybe google likes their own traffic:)

  43. March 3, 2009

    I’ve found Google to be the best SE as well for conversion. I’ve never been a fan of Ask.com, and it seems like Looksmart is a waste of time. I’ve actually had my best luck with Google as I said, as well as social networking like twitter, myspace and facebook.

  44. March 3, 2009

    I’ve had mixed success with both Yahoo and MSN – depending on the nice. Some did well, some just flat out busted. You really have to test, not generalize. Of course I was hoping they would merge and give G some competition…but what can you do. 2nd tier like ask and miva will send tons of clicks, but conversions were extremely week in all of my testing.

  45. March 25, 2009


    I find I can rank high in MSN and Ask, but of course there ain’t so much traffic, so the ranking is worth less. I’ve never understood WHY I often rank higher. Are the big guys ‘n’ gals specifically targetting Google somehow.

    Maybe I’ll work all this stuff out one day. One day…….


  46. March 30, 2009

    On top of everything else, Yahoo has been doing bizarre things in their SERPS, several of my high PR sites have just dropped like a 100 pages, not sure why, but oh well, I too will stick with Google.

  47. April 15, 2009

    I have had some success with msn, although I believe msn is better suited towards marketing keywords that are outside of the usa. That is where I get most of the track anyways lol.

  48. July 28, 2009

    I haven’t even tried Google yet because of all the negative things I’ve heard. I just need to test it myself one of these days. I’ve had moderate success with Ask.com. Your ads were not running on Ask.com, but rather their ‘network’ instead. They have other even smaller search engines and content networks that they place your ads on at first. They only let you advertise on Ask.com after you reach a certain quantity. They aren’t real clear about this up front, pretty shady if you ask me. I only found out my ads weren’t on Ask.com after I talked with my Account Manager over there.

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