What is the difference between PPV and PPC?

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Someone asked me about what the difference between PPV and PPC is and why I am opposed to PPV and not to PPC.  This was not only a great question but one that I thought would make a great post for this blog.  My answer was actually pretty simple but I think it could be complicated to people who don’t understand the negative effect that PPV advertising can have, so lets cover that first.

The reason I am opposed to PPV and will never knowingly let Affiliates who use this method in my programs or will use it as a way to increase sales with Media Buys for my Clients, regardless if they use it in my programs or not or request this type of Media Buy.  When I find Affiliates using it or find out they use it in other programs, I remove them instantly because allowing them to stay encourages this behavior and negatively effects our industry as a whole.  This is because the traffic that PPV Affiliates and that PPV Media Buys are driving isn’t their traffic since the person buying has no actual traffic of their own.  PPV is driven by popping ads over or under or opening new tabs when an end user reaches a website or url or recognizes a keyword phrase.

The PPV Affiliate targets specific urls or servers or keywords and when the adware or software application recognizes that url or those keywords or servers it shows an ad.  This ad shows whether or not the site, Webmaster or Search Engine opted in for the ad to show.  The Webmaster or Search Engine who worked hard to get that traffic from SEO, from their Newsletters or their own paid channels like PPC has now had a PPV adware application try to poach its sale and its traffic.  In some cases you may even find a forced click over the Merchant’s own site which would give that particular Affiliate or Media Planner credit for a sale that they did not drive but stole from whomever or however that end user found the Merchant’s site on their own.  If the Merchant who had the ad pop over their site paid for the ad with a TV ad or PPC ad or other paid channel, not only are they now paying to bring the customer to their site, but they also have to pay the Affiliate a commission because they popped an ad and forced a click over the Merchant’s site.  What is even worse if the Affiliate also offers a coupon because now the Merchant spent money on bringing the person to their site only to have the sale poached but now loses more margin to the Affiliate Commission and even more margin to the Coupon Code, not to mention Network overrides and other fees associated with a channel that didn’t even have anything to do with the sale.  In my mind and my opinion is that if you have to use PPV to pop ads over other people’s sites because you are not talented or smart enough or creative enough to build your own sites and drive your own SEO traffic, then you probably should not be in Affiliate Marketing or even in Online Marketing in general.  There is no reason to have to steal traffic from people who worked hard to build their own traffic and to me it is just wrong.  So how does it relate to PPC and why am I ok with PPC when I’m not ok with PPV.

PPC is similar to PPV because ads show up along side search results when certain keywords or phrases are searched.  You can buy these ad spaces and they will more than likely show along side these phrases.  With PPV you can buy phrases and show ads just like this, except the ads will pop up or sometimes pretend to be links inside articles on the phrases the adware buyer is targeting.  The difference in this case is that the Webmaster (the Search Engine) opted in to letting you pay for that ad space and they will benefit from their hard work.  With PPV the Webmaster or Search Engine never gave you permission to try to poach their traffic and pop ads over their sites to interfere with their website experience.  They also don’t benefit financially or in any way from you showing ads over their sites or search results.  You are in a way stealing from them not only by trying to take their traffic from them but you are also trying to steal from them financially since they are not getting revenue from impressions, clicks that leave the Search Engine or Webmaster’s site for the PPV ad and for sales that are stolen by cookies being overwritten by the PPV adware application tempting the end user to leave or in some cases forcing a click.

The main reason why I am ok with PPC but not PPV is not because they show ads based on keywords, it is because the PPC model has the Webmaster and Search Engine opting in to allow you to show ads and they can benefit from it.  With PPV they did not opt in to having their user experience interrupted or their traffic redirected.  I am 100% opposed to this type of behavior and take instant action when I find it in my programs and I highly recommend you educate yourself on this if you have an Affiliate program or do online Media Buying.  Media Buying can end up popping ads over your own site or your Client’s site and if the person clicks those ads with the end user already on your site, or sometimes the end user doesn’t even have to click the ad, it’ll look like the customer came from the PPV application but in reality they were already on your site and the PPV ad is pretending to have sent the sale.

If you would like me to take a look at your program or want an outside source to look at it, you can leave a comment here and I will respond back to you privately or you can contact someone I trust with adware testing and applications by visiting her site AffiliateFairPlay.com.

If you found this interesting and would like to add to the post, please feel free to leave a comment below or click the tweet or retweet button at the top to share it on twitter.  If you disagree with my opinion and want to share why, please also feel free to leave a comment below.  The only thing I ask is that you do not mention any person or company’s names and don’t use any personal attacks as this is a touchy subject for people who use PPV and get caught using it.

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6 thoughts on “What is the difference between PPV and PPC?”

  1. Thank you for writing this post. I am certain that most affiliates and merchants are not aware that there are people regularly stealing commissions from them or that many Affiliate Networks are doing nothing to curb these tactics.
    .-= Gail´s last blog ..Ethical Affiliate Marketing =-.

  2. No problem Gail. Thank you for reading this post. The thing is that some Networks do take action on this type of behavior while others endorse it but give it fancy names like PPV or Contextual Advertising.

    Now, not all contextual is bad, the Google Adsense Network is contextual and not bad, but when it comes to Affiliate Marketing and Media Buying, there is a very good chance that Contextual can mean the same as PPV or Adware. It is showing ads based off of content.

  3. Thanks for this post. Gail recommended it on Twitter. I am new to blogging and hope to do some affiliate marketing eventually. I want an honest business and have already seen some dubious practices on the net that I stay well clear of. Here is another to add to my list!
    Thanks again. Learning heaps from all you experieced ppl out there.
    Patricia Perth Australia

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Thank you for reading and posting. No problem at all. It is good to see someone taking an ethical and long term strategy approach. If you are able to build your own community and your own readership or visitors then you won’t have to worry as much as they will keep coming back to you.

      Let me know if you ever need any help and I would be happy to have you in any of my programs.



  4. “In my mind and my opinion is that if you have to use PPV to pop ads over other people’s sites because you are not talented or smart enough or creative enough to build your own sites and drive your own SEO traffic, then you probably should not be in Affiliate Marketing or even in Online Marketing in general.” .. Just had to say that I could not agree with you more!

    1. Thanks Aden. It’s great to see you here as well.

      It’s a shame that theft like this continues in our industry and in Media Buying but fortunately certain networks like Share a Sale, Buy.at and a few others do their part to help keep it out of their Networks. Although no one can catch all of it there is a list of Networks I like to work with that I am always happy to share privately. The other thing to keep in mind though is that if the Merchant is not exclusive on those networks and is on a CPA Network, one of the other Big 4 or Big 5 Networks then you are not as safe from having your cookies overwritten as many of the large Networks and Many of the CPA Networks allow Toolbars, Reminderware, Couponware, Contextual, Interstitial, Interference Marketing, Loyaltyware or however they would like to make adware sound like it is a good thing for Merchants.

      Thank you again for reading and happy to have you here.


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