Mel Strocen, The herd mentality never fails to amaze me. When the pay-per-click concept was first pioneered in 1997-98 by GoTo.com (now Yahoo! Search Marketing), it was years before the model was widely accepted. GoTo virtually created the market for pay-for-performance search single-handedly and redefined how businesses market online while other search engines sat on their collective hands. Then, when it was obvious that there was "Gold in Them Thar (PPC) Hills" hundreds of search engines entered the PPC arena and hordes of advertisers followed suit.
As a search engine advertising model, pay-per-click was, and is, brilliant in its simplicity. In theory, it is a perfect way to bill advertisers based on consumer interest in their advertisements. Unfortunately, in real life money can bring out the worst in human, and business, nature. In today's search engine reality, pay-per-click should be on its last legs. But, as anyone with a knowledge of the search engine industry knows that simply isn't the case.