I advertise using Overture and Google's PPC ads. I would like to try other PPCs too, but could you point out which others allow geographic targeting like Google's AdWords? I've been trying to get this info, but have had no luck yet. Would you be able to suggest a solution if there aren't many PPC search engines allowing geographic targeting?

Ashley Alphonso


Hi Ashley,

There aren't many Pay Per Click search engines that offer geographic targeting. The beauty of the pay per click model is that they do provide targeted visitors to advertisers willing to invest the extra dollar for qualified prospects. Going one step further and filtering search engine users according to their country or state for advertisers is nothing short of spectacular from an advertiser's point of view. However, none of the other search engines provide this facility currently, the way Google does with AdWords, and till such time that you find another search engine that does so, and assuming that geo-targeting ads is absolutely essential to you, you will probably have to continue to focus on Google AdWords.

In November of 2002, Inktomi released it's "Web Search 9" product which offers Geo-targeting. Inktomi is not a PPC search engine, though their Web Search 9 offering is available to clients who opt for their "Paid for Inclusion" program. Below is an extract from their press release.

"Index Connect Geotargeting: ... offers paid inclusion customers the unique ability to provide tailored local content for more than 30 global regions. Inktomi portal partners reach more than half of all Internet users worldwide and this feature allows paid inclusion subscribers to increase customer satisfaction and sales conversions by ensuring that their content is only presented in relevant global regions."

Thus customers of the Inktomi Paid Inclusion program can choose to have their results displayed to just a part of or to the entire set of 30 Global regions. Again, though this is not exactly PPC it is definitely worth pursuing, because Inktomi can provide a decent amount of traffic to your website and is not all that difficult to optimize for. Furthermore, since Yahoo! has taken over Inktomi, and is expected to start displaying results from Inktomi soon, by taking part in Inktomi's paid inclusion program, you have a great opportunity of being ranked well in Yahoo! as well. You can subscribe to Inktomi's paid inclusion program here.

What is provided to you with Google's AdWords program is rare, and the only possible way for you to extract similar benefit from other PPC search engines is to try and use keywords containing the name of the specific geographic region. Let's say, for example, you are into selling automotive audio accessories. If you want to target the keyphrase "cd receivers" and you were only interested in selling to consumers from your locality, you could bid on the keyphrase "cd receivers region" or "region cd receivers" where 'region' would be the name of the geographic area you were targeting. Thus if you were targeting customers from the state of California, you would be bidding on "california cd receivers" and related keyphrases.

However, the problem with targeting such region specific keywords is that more often than not, such keywords are not searched for too often and you will get a minuscule number of visitors through them. But this may still be worth giving a try. You can see whether the region specific keywords you are trying to target get any traffic by going to WordTracker.

Another approach to maximizing your Return on Investment if you are interested in geo- targeting, is to put in the name of your geographic region into the title or description of your listing. This will help you save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on clicks made by visitors from outside your region. Using the above example, the Title of your listing for the keyword "cd receivers" could read "Branded CD Receivers Available Only in California".

August 4, 2003

Sumantra Roy, president of 1st Search Engine, is one of the most respected and recognized search engine positioning specialists on the Internet. Sumantra's articles on search engine optimization have been widely published and quoted in different web sites and newsletters on the Internet. His unique formula for establishing the most appropriate keywords for a site has been used by WordTracker, the most popular keyword research tool on the Internet. This formula is also used by many other search engine optimization companies for establishing the most appropriate keywords for their clients' sites.

Search Engine Guide > Sumantra Roy > Geo-Targeting Pay Per Click Ads