Cost per click, which usually goes by the acronym of CPC, has two different meanings. For a search engine, the term cost per click means how much the search engine charges advertisers each time a visitor clicks on a sponsored link. Cost per click can also mean the total cost accrued by the advertiser when the ad is clicked on, from just listing the ad to the additional cost of the click-through on the part of the visitor. The CPC can vary for a search engine and for the advertiser, based on the popularity of the keywords, as well as the basic price that search engines charge. The more popular the keyword, the more expensive the cost per click for the advertiser and the more money the search engine makes.
The cost per click for a search engine is different for every keyword or set of keywords, depending on the popularity of not only the keyword, but of the search engine. While there are many search engines that offer pay per click services, the most popular are Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and MSN adCenter, and the cost per click for these websites are generally higher than for smaller websites.
CPCs for advertisers are based frequently on the popularity of the keywords that are being chosen, as well as the budget that the advertisers have set aside for paid inclusion. The general price range for advertiser’s cost per click budgets are $.01 to $.50 per click, and that includes not only paying for the sponsored link but the click-through by the visitor. The costs per click budgets of companies are generally managed by the advertiser, but can also be outsourced to search engine optimization companies, which can evaluate how to manage the cost per click for advertisers so that there is very little waste.