Ebay data tells us something about pay per click advertising

Ebay spends tons of cash on pay per click marketing; they must do because last month they received more sponsored advert impressions than any other site – over three billion of them. And that’s almost ten times the amount Amazon saw. But Ebay may not be laughing all the way to the bank just yet. If you look at the actual time spent by people on the Ebay web site, the average last month was 1hr 37 minutes. Compare that with PokerStars.com where the average time spent on the site was just short of 9hrs. Indeed, of the top 10 web sites for time spent on them, five are gaming sites, four of which are poker playing sites. Yet those gaming sites don’t have anywhere near as many advertising impressions as Ebay. In total last month, Ebay had around 96 million hours of user activity. For that they needed three billion sponsored ad impressions. But the poker sites had around 50m hours of user activity, yet don’t even feature on the league tables for pay per click advertising. So what does this tell us? Maybe Ebay is spending too much to get its user hours? Maybe the poker sites are not spending enough? Only they can tell us. But what these figures clearly show is that you can attract significant visitor hours to your web site without significant sponsored link impressions, providing you give your audience something they want. Perhaps Ebay needs to advertise so much because selling off the family silver is not exactly what people want.

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