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SEARCH MARKETING: PPC gravy train comes off the rails

From January 2009, Google is ending its Best Practice Funding programme, which was launched in 2006 and gave agencies that used the search engine to book ad campaigns a percentage of money back based on how much they spent on behalf of clients. Although the rebate usually isn't larger than five per cent in most cases, for agencies, which are big spenders on PPC this can sometimes equate to tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds every month per client.

Prior to 2006, Google offered agencies that reached a certain spend threshold a 15 per cent commission, which was given to agencies as an incentive for them to grow their business and ultimately their expenditure with Google.

This agency commission (which Yahoo and MSN still adhere to) was replaced in 2006 by the Best Practice Funding scheme, which was officially put in place to reward agencies, not only for their growth, but also for adhering to best practice guidelines and therefore improving the quality of the paid-for listings.