How do Search Engines Make Money, Anyway?

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In an economy where we are used to paying for goods and services, it seems a bit confusing that a free service like a search engine actually makes money. While most online marketers with an online advertising budget know the answer to that question, a recent survey by Harris Interactive indicates that a large amount of Americans don’t understand how Google and Facebook bring in the green.

Some of the answers selected by survey participants indicated that they thought Google made money in any of the following ways:

  • By selling users’ personal information to marketers
  • By charging large companies  annual dues for use of their services
  • By asking users to pay for premium features

Of course, none of these options is how Google actually makes money. These ideas probably seem silly to anyone involved in online marketing. As an Internet marketer, you know Google makes money by offering paid premium ad space. The reason Google is so successful, however, extends a bit deeper than offering paid advertising listings.

What drives online marketers to advertise on Google is the amount of targeted consumers visiting Google daily. Nearly 200 million people visit Google each day, and Google takes extreme measures to provide relevant results. The more relevant information a search engine returns, the more likely one of your targeted consumers will click on your advertisement, making advertising on that search engine a profitable media buy. While there are many misconceptions about how Google makes money, the real reason is because they provide unmatched value when it comes to selling relevant advertising space.

For more information about how to start a successful PPC campaign on top search engines, please feel free to contact one of our representatives here at OrangeSoda.


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Howdy just came upon your blog from Bing after I entered in, “%BLOGTITLE%” or perhaps something similar (can’t quite remember exactly). Anyhow, I’m glad I found it because your content is exactly what I’m searching for (writing a college paper) and I hope you don’t mind if I collect some information from here and I will of course credit you as the reference. Appreciate it.
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What advertising space? Occasionally I’ll see a small orange highlighted box above my search results advertising some small no-name company, but that’s like a rarity! Considering that google’s search engine generations billions of profit every year, each add must cost an insane amount of money, there has to be more then just this.