That is the question that Aaron Goldman discusses in his most recent post at Search Insider. Aaron provides some sound thinking as to why CPA could overtake CPC in the future as the preferred way in which to purchase paid search.
With the assistance of one of his fellow authors Aaron, formulates an interesting point of view and one I believe cannot be faulted. He notes that the big three search engines have all recently purchased their own advertising networks and the potential for “insider data trading” could exist. Not that anyone believes the big three would go that route, but he notes a CPA model would eliminate the largest concerns marketers would have, should that ever unknowingly happen.
Aaron then goes on to nicely cover why CPA would be positive for marketers, consumers, and search engines. This is the real value of the article in my mind. I am not convinced the industry at large would ever make such a sweeping change, but really explaining the benefits of CPA may help lead media purchasers to consider CPA options as part of their paid search purchasing mix and this I believe is a good thing.
Aaron concludes his article with a compelling argument as to which trends point to a real possibility that CPA could become the standard for paid search. But even he states that he clearly only touches on the benefits of the move to a CPA model and he hasn’t touched on the downsides.
I believe this is one those articles that benefits the search marketing community because hopefully it will generate a larger conversation and encourage many marketers to consider the CPA format as part of their paid search strategy. What do you think about a move away from CPC to CPA? Does it have merit in your mind?