PPC or “Pay Per Click”, a type of internet marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked, is now one of the most commonly used and effective online marketing models, but you may be wondering where it all started. With the beginnings of the internet, many e-commerce businesses started popping up all over the web and with the rise of these businesses PPC rose with them. PPC was developed in 1996 and since then has become an unmatched revenue generating tool.

In 1996, a company called Planet Oasis became the first company to provide PPC advertising to early internet e-commerce companies and end users.

This turned out to be extremely successful venture and soon many companies followed suit with a similar structure. In the same year Yahoo! launched its IPO with a valuation of $334 million and Stanford University engineering students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, started developing a brand new search engine
which would later become known as Google.
Just one year later in 1997, PPC usage and sales skyrocket. Hundreds of companies begin using this service for promoting their products with starting costs from $0.05 to $0.025 per click. Today, these PPC costs are considered almost
impossible with some keywords such as “Insurance” costing as much as $50 per click.

In February 1998, Goto.com founded the PPC auction system with advertisers bidding for keywords and ads ranked by bid value. Following into 1999, GoTo.com introduced a toolset that gives advertisers access to pay-per-click bids for individual keywords in real time. Online advertising starts growing at an exponential rate until the year 2000 hits and the onlineadvertising market collapses with the burst of the dot-com bubble, which makes most online
companies go bankrupt and discourages advertisers from continuing to use the PPC platform.

Later that same year Google Adwords comes out with a campaign promise to help advertisers, individuals, small businesses, and large business with an option to place ads based on keywords. Meanwhile in 2003, Yahoo! purchases PPC platform Overture Services for $1.63 billion in an effort to compete with Google’s increasing dominance in the space.

From 2002-2005 to rise of Google is evident with Its net worth exceeding $23 billion and most of its profit coming from PPC advertising and other online marketing strategies such as Google Adsense. This allows publishers of online content to place PPC advertising for website content and target a group with publishers receiving a share of every generated click. By 2004, Google controlled 85% of all online searches. The result was $799 million dollars in PPC
revenue during Google’s 4th quarter of 2005 which was approximately 42% of Its total revenue. Throughout 2005 Google worked on optimizing its PPC system and by the end of the year rolled out Google Analytics which allows advertisers to track and measure their ad campaign performance in real time.

From 2006 to 2010, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Google began increasingly competing with each other using their own distinctive PPC platforms. Facebook, the $69 billion dollars social network website, also gets into the PPC advertising game and starts Its own ad platform which matches ads based on user demographics. Youtube, the world’s largest online video platform, is purchasing by Google a year after Its release with Google purchasing the company on October 9,
2006, for $1.65 billion dollars; as with Facebook’s advertising platform, advertisers are enabled to alleviate users according to demographic characteristics and interests. Companies like Linkedin, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and many other big internet brands begin using PPC platforms interchangeably between each other increasing the market value in each brand. Alongside all of these developments desktop advertising starts to stagnate with the launch of
smartphones and mobile advertising becomes a booming industry; Google and other PPC focused companies started investing heavily in the mobile space.

PPC Provider PPC Platform Name Other Remarketing Platforms
Google AdWords AdRoll
Bing Bing Ads DoubleClick
Yahoo! Gemini ReTargeter
FaceBook FaceBook Ad Center
LInkedIN LInkedIN Ad Solutions for Business


1996 – PPC Was Born
1998 – PPC Auction System Was Founded
2000 – Market Crush aka Dot-com Bubble
2002 – Rise of Google
2006 – Corporate wars: Microsoft vs. Google vs. Yahoo
2010 – Microsoft & Yahoo! incorporate together to compete Google
2018 – Every major Social network is offering PPC advertising platform

short history of ppc - 1996-2018


Over the last eight years, social media has exploded with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram leading the charge and with this boom in social media a reengineered PPC market has been born. The multibillion-dollar internet giants have revamped and updated their PPC models to take advantage of these platforms and revolutionize targeted advertising. The mobile sphere has also blown up with mobile ad spend growing 98% year over year. PPC ad placements are being used on mobile search engines and mobile apps more than ever before.

While Google is still a PPC powerhouse, it is no longer the only big player in the game. The tech giants have realized how important targeted advertising is and have started intertwining their user demographic data with PPC to increase click rate and ensure only interested parties are clicking on your ad which in turn increases ROI for the company. With the cost of PPC advertising going up every year, the tech giants are developing new ways to make it more affordable for companies to launch PPC campaigns. New features and developments of PPC advertising have been established such as setting a budget of how much you pay for each click to make it more affordable for the advertiser along with new rules and regulations that help run successful ad campaigns.

PPC is very much alive and its efficiency is being improved every day. Only time will tell what the future with bring for PPC, but with the constant innovations its future seems very bright!

Then: In 1996, a company called Planet Oasis became the first company to provide PPC advertising to early internet e-commerce companies and end users.

Now: The multi billion-dollar internet giants have revamped and updated their PPC models to take advantage of these platforms and revolutionize targeted advertising.




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