Online Paid Search Learning Resources

13 comments

Cash comes first. So as a search marketer are you more interested in organic or paid search? It probably depends on how you’ve “grown up” in online marketing.

As a writer I’ve always been drawn to the organic content side of search marketing. And by this I mean creating content that’s rooted in your audience’s interactions with your site. Answering questions for example.

Since stepping out into marketing with a partner I’ve become increasingly interested in paid search as an augmentation of media creation efforts. To some extent I think of it as getting more aggressive with getting subscribers.

If an email newsletter is part of your content creation strategy – and you’ve figured out how much you make per email newsletter you send – then why not buy paid search ads to get people into your sales funnel?

After yesterday’s paid search post I decided I wanted to dig a bit more deeply. What I found was something I’ve suspected for some time – a LACK of paid search blogs.

There are two others that stand out besides Hale though, and I wanted to point them out by way of some strong contributions they’ve made.

First there’s Evan Roberts at PPCLab (Evan’s a former colleague of mine). Check out his recent post “Say it ain’t so! Yahoo introduces Ad Quality into ad rankings.”

What does it mean to paid search that Yahoo’s following Google by scoring its ads for quality? Probably that the advertiser experience will get worse while the searcher’s experience will get better.

I surmise that this will increase Yahoo’s bottom line, as they are an advertising first company, while Google’s an engineering first company. They would not have chosen this route if it were not ultimately profitable.

Another great paid search resource comes from another former colleague of mine Al Scillitani. He’s a masterful paid search marketer who writes for theSEMZone.

He recently wrote Adding Match Types To Your PPC Account May Decrease Conversions. Much of what he writes in this post is over my head, but he clearly demonstrates that a) he researches his concerns in forums and b) writes directly to Google for answers too. That level of thoroughness earned Al my subscription to his feed.

So that’s what I’ve got folks. So Al, Evan and Tom – can you guys recommend any good paid search resources out there? Anyone else have favorite resources? And do you have any thoughts on why paid search marketers haven’t been writing in depth quality link bait like the recent Ultimate Guide to Building the Perfect Link?

About the Author

Garrett French educates SEO and PR teams on content and engagement-based link building strategies that drive targeted referral traffic and deliver SERP domination. Learn more about him and his services at CitationLabs.com.

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13 Comments

  1. Andrey Milyan

    Good post, Garrett. Let me attempt to answer your question.

    In the case of SMS, we are very much into paid search. Our company also offers a bid management software and a click fraud monitoring service so we have been working in the PPC field from day one.

    One thing I've noticed is that people don't really care too much about PPC. When we first started the magazine, I wanted to include as many articles on PPC as on SEO. The result was a very hostile reaction from our readers who wanted to have more SEO related content.

    I think that part of the problem is that people view PPC advertising as a very straightforward process, something that it's not. SEO is looked upon as this secret knowledge while paid search is considered to be much simpler.

    Personally, I don't like to separate the two. Any good search marketing campaign should include both. Good, targeted content and even descriptive links are as important in PPC as in SEO.

    A

  2. Melissa

    People do care about PPC - they're just not as vocal as a lot of the SEOs. I'd love to see more PPC articles in SMS.

    I agree - both have value if used correctly. If something isn't converting for you, don't do it. I'm puzzled by all the animosity between the 2 camps - the whole "rocket science" debate is a good illustration. Each tactic has a place in the SEM world.

    Al quotes my HighRankings post in the blog post you link to. I do have a blog that focuses mostly on PPC: http://www.beyondthepaid.com.
    It's mostly a hobby for me at this point, but I do try to post regularly.

    Melissa

  3. Andrey Milyan

    Thanks for stopping by, Melissa. We are working on making the magazine more balanced, in terms of PPC/SEO ratio.

    Quality content and links combined with well designed PPC campaign can go a long way for any company.

    A

  4. Linkbait? Okay, I'll admit the title ("Ultimate Guide..." was designed to bait, but the content is more for business owners and webmasters than for my fellow SEOs and bloggers. :-)

  5. Garrett French

    I use the term linkbait as the utmost compliment Matt - especially since I'm one linking ;)

    Melissa I'll add you to my reader, and Andry, thanks for your notes!

    G

  6. Tom Hale

    Although I am not the SEO wonk that I am when it comes to PPC, especially AdWords; I appreciate Andrey’s point that it shouldn’t be an either or situation. PPC can function as your rapid response team and advance scout, with the natural search army advancing behind.

    Here are blogs from some others that also regularly contribute over in the Google AdWords Groups, along with this humble specialist.

    They know their stuff.

    Ian Feavearyear
    Richard Ball


    There are others, and my apologies to them for not getting them in here, maybe I can slip more in later.

    -T

  7. Tom Hale

    Oops!

    I'm a strategic wonder, but a technical blunder.

    The above botched link goes to Jeremy Chatfield's blog.

    http://blog.merjis.com/

    -T

  8. Anonymous

    Hi Garrett,
    I am a recruiter trying to find SEM Professionals for several positions at MSN. Is there an online community that you reccomend I become a part of?

    Vivian.Larsen@kenexa.com

  9. Andrey Milyan

    Hi Vivian,

    We will have jobs section on our new website launching in mid February. We also have job postings in the magazine. Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss this further.

    Andrey

  10. G French,

    Thanks for the dig. I've always wondered why PPC isnt nearly 1/4 as talked about in the blogosphere as SEO.

    Unfortunately, I personally havent found many good PPC blogs outside of Andrew Goodman's Traffick, but even he tends to wallow on the paid search topic.

    I also subscribe to the engines feeds directly to stay on top of when they have announcements and such.

    Not overly helpful but I'll keep you up to speed if i find others.

  11. Al Scillitani

    SEO, PPC, and Analytics (that tracks revenue down to the keyword level) are a must!

    SEO and PPC gets you the exposure your site needs, then the analytics lets you know what is working and what isnt.

    They are all connected and experts should be used to fully maximize ROI.

  12. PPC tells you what keywords work, and which messages are important. It also makes experimenting with landing page and conversion rates a lot faster. SEO can give volume, at low prices. Analytics are crucial, but none of the paid search vendors offer all the right data, and none of the (big) web analytics package offer useful reports. Tends to make an article extremely complex, as you use bits of neuro-linguistic programming, marketing communications, micro-economics, game theory, instrumentation, signal analysis, usability, accessibility, 7P's, buying process, bidding strategies, the generalised second auction, etc. SEO feels so... simple... by comparison to paid search. Thanks for the mention, Tom! I only found this posting because I was doing some SEO research on my own reputation management... Cheers, JeremyC.

  13. Late to the party but thought folks interested in paid search may find some value the paid search resource I recently put together: http://www.ppcdiscussions.com/2008/03/paid-search-resources-list.html Enjoy!