EBay Plans Keyword Bid-for-Click Ad Program

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EBay will begin making keyword bid-per-click advertising available to sellers on its Web site, the online auctioneer said yesterday.

The program, Keywords on eBay, officially debuts tomorrow.

As a result, eBay sellers will be able to bid on how much they are willing to pay for each person who clicks through their ads when their ads are returned with the results page to users who have used certain keywords or phrases.

For example, if a seller of Barbie collectibles bids 25 cents for the keyword phrase "Barbie collectibles," the seller is saying that if eBay serves his or her ad when the phrase "Barbie collectibles" is used in a search, the seller will pay eBay 25 cents for every person who clicks through the ad.

If the seller is among the highest bidders on a search word or phrase, the seller's ad will receive preferred placement in the banner ad rotation on eBay's search results pages.

The bid amount is paid only when someone clicks on the ad.

The beauty of bidding on keywords from a direct marketing standpoint is that it lets the marketer calculate how much a click-through lead -- qualified by the use of various keywords or phrases -- is worth. The marketer can bid accordingly on each keyword or phrase, and never pay more than his or her allowable acquisition costs.

According to eBay, sellers will be able to use its keywords program to drive traffic to their listings, About Me page or their store in the eBay marketplace.

Keywords can be categories, types of items, brands, eBay store names and eBay user Ids. Bidding will start at 10 cents per click.

EBay, San Jose, CA, claims there are more than 79 million item searches daily on its site.

EBay has signed a multi-year deal with DoubleClick, New York, to use its DART for Publishers ad management and delivery system to manage serving the ads. EBay will use technology firm Conducive's AdMarketplace to manage the bid-per-click program.

Sellers can register for the program at http://admarketplace.net.

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