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PPC Sponsored Links

PPC Sponsored Links
12/11/03 (Edited 03/11/14)

Important note: due to a lack of user interest and shortage of PPC providers, the PPC sponsored links option is depreciated and removed as of WSN 9.

If you wish, you can use WSN Links to generate revenue for yourself -- be it just to offset hosting costs, or to turn a profit. Paid search results offer an easy method to generate revenue. WSN Links will allow you to incorporate results from a pay-per-click search engine, which will in turn pay you when your visitors click on these results.

To begin, go to Admin Panel -> Miscellaneous -> Advanced Options (or in the 5.0 and earlier series, Admin Panel -> Settings -> Sponsorship). You'll find the settings for the PPC articles we will be integrating here. Set 'Activate Paid PPC results' to 'yes' to turn on the feature.

Register with the provider (currently Search Feed). In order for results to be returned you need to fill in your account id and tracking id. Next, you can set the number of results to show on search pages. Any time your visitors use the simple search box on the main WSN Links page, the link results which appear to them can have these sponsored results shown above them. Don't set this number too high or you'll bury your own content and annoy your visitors. If you don't wish any sponsored results in searches, just set this to 0.

You can also show these paid links inside your categories. For each category, you will need to edit the category to set a search term for it (this option is near the bottom of the 'edit category' screen). This search term defines what results will be shown in the category -- thus you can tweak it as needed to get the most appropriate (and thus most profitable) content to show up. You can also set the specific number of results to show in each category, in case you have some categories which are in need or more sponsor-filler or some categories where the results quality just seems to be better and thus you want to show more. In the sponsorship settings you can set the default number which will be used if you don't specify how many when editing the category.

Finally, you can set the link type which the PPC results will be diplayed with. This allows you total control of the look of the sponsored links on your pages, just as with regular links or any other link types you've created. Since the PPC results have different options available than your standard articles, be aware that the link template variables available for this special link type are different from other link types. Using your usual article bit will cause errors. These are the available template variables:

{LINKURL} - The revenue-generating URL you want people to click.
{LINKTITLE} - The title of the article.
{LINKDESCRIPTION} - Description of the article.
{LINKREALURL} - The actual URL of the destination site -- this is for display purposes, and should not be clickable.
{LINKBID} - The amount which the advertiser is paying if this site is clicked. Note that this is not the amount you earn.
{LINKTYPE} - The type which you're using for PPC links.
{LINKNUMBER} - The number of the order in which it appears on your page.

Note that you cannot use comments, reviews or the like with these results, because they're not physically inside your directory, they're just being queried in at run time.

Design the look of the sponsored links in your 'show articles in category', 'search links' and 'search all' templates. See the link types manual entry for reference. For example, you might use this in 'show articles in category':

<p><a href="{LINKURL}">{LINKTITLE}</a> <br>{LINKDESCRIPTION}</p>

And this in your search templates:

<p><a href="{LINKURL}">{LINKTITLE}</a> <br>{LINKDESCRIPTION}</p>

Description Integrate pre-supplied PPC search engine results and earn revenue from each click.
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