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Pay per click (PPC) is an online advertising model in which revenue is earned via qualifying sponsored click-through advertisements. PPC is a search advertising component where advertisers bid on relevant keywords.
Online publishers generally sell advertising on a cost per impression (CPI or CPM) basis to reduce risks. Most online publishers are not able to sell all ads in this fashion. Thus, at least some ad inventory components are sold via PPC.
PPC and cost per click (CPC) are essentially synonymous but have a slight nuance. Some consider PPC the overall industry term that refers to paid traffic, while CPC refers to specific click costs. In other words, Google is the biggest PPC industry player, vs. 25 cents paid on a specific CPC ad.