Online advertising payment model in which payment is based solely on qualifying click-throughs.


In a PPC agreement, the advertiser only pays for qualifying clicks to the destination site based on a prearranged per-click rate. Popular PPC advertising options include per-click advertising networks, search engines, and affiliate programs.

Paying per click is sometimes seen by some as a middle ground between paying per impression and paying per action. When paying per impression, the advertiser assumes the risk of low-quality traffic generated by the
publisher. When getting paid for actions, the publisher assumes the risk of low-converting offers by the advertiser. In the PPC model, the publisher does not have to worry about the sales conversion rate of the target site, and the advertiser does not have to worry about how many impressions it takes to attract the specified number of clicks.

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Related Terms

click-through, cost-per-click (CPC), pay per lead (PPL), pay per sale (PPS)

view all terms in the Search Engine Marketing glossary or all terms in the Digital Marketing glossary


Marketing Terms : Tools : PPC Search & Social Advertising


Seven Ways to Increase Pay-Per-Click ROI
ClickZ (January 24, 2003)

Beware the Lure of the Cost per Click
ClickZ (December 28, 1999)

On the Security of Pay-Per-Click and Other Web Advertising Schemes