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The Truth About Pay-Per-Click Search Advertising by Kevin Lee

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Truth 11. The search tax: Are search engines leeches?

I hear an undercurrent of discontent from more and more marketers these days. Increasingly, they’re concerned that search engines and pay-for-performance marketing channels (such as affiliate marketing) have turned into tolls. The claim is that these advertising and sales channels are becoming less about customer acquisition and more about paying—repeatedly—to maintain share of wallet with existing customers.

The online marketing ecosystem has evolved in an interesting way, creating unexpected pinch-points or conduits through which customers generally pass by choice (even if they don’t have to). Search engine SERPs and organic landing pages generated by affiliates well-versed in ...

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