Wrapped: The Science of PPC Parts 31-40

Irritated Man at Computer Science of PPC

Since launching in the fall of 2019, the first 40 parts of The Science of PPC have covered a variety of paid search topics with the aim of bringing greater clarity and insight to the complicated world of paid search marketing and digital marketing analysis.

Parts 31-40 of this 50-part blog series have continued Andrew Goodman’s deep dive into all things PPC, featuring more actionable explorations of the concepts, quirks, and complexities that govern Google Ads, along with insightful examinations of theories and phenomena beyond the world of paid search that may impact your PPC campaigns.

Summarized below, chapters 31-40 explore paid search topics ranging from click fraud and the value of Dynamic Search Ads to what metrics to pay attention to (and which you can likely ignore).

Don your lab coats and safety goggles once again and dig in.

Part 31: Life Beyond GDN: Why Mature Advertisers Should Flee Google’s “Training Wheel” Display Ad Network

The Google Display Network may be a good stepping stone for novice paid search advertisers, but mature marketers shouldn’t limit themselves to the GDN’s narrow inventory of ad placements. If your goal is to grow a business or access more ad inventory across the Internet, the constraints of Google’s “training wheel” display network can slow your growth and limit your paid search success.

Read Part 31

Part 32: Click Fraud: Is Third-Party Detection Software the Answer?

Malicious activity online is commonplace—and that includes companies peddling so-called fraud detection software. Andrew explores the utility (or lack thereof) of third-party click fraud detection software and offers his advice for spotting fraud in your paid search campaigns in Part 32 of The Science of PPC.

Read Part 32

Part 33: Is DSA Your Friend? Pros & Cons of Dynamic Search Ads in PPC

Many advertisers generate very poor ROI out of the gate from Dynamic Search Ads, but does DSA really deserve its bad reputation? Andrew outlines the pros and cons of DSA and makes the case for how marketers can use them constructively to benefit paid search campaigns, including targeting new customers using a wider array of research-stage content.

Read Part 33

Part 34: Nudged: The Science of (Ignoring) Google Ads’ Optimization Score

How useful is Google’s Optimization Score, anyway? Spoiler alert: most of the recommendations are uncorrelated, or negatively correlated with, your company or client’s profit and loss. In Part 34, Andrew uses real-life examples to show how PPC marketers can use Optimization Score to their advantage—and when they can ignore it altogether.

Read Part 34

Part 35: The New World of Competitive Metrics: Life After “Avg. Pos.”

The loss of the Average Position metric in Google Ads left many paid search advertisers in the dark when it comes to determining how aggressively to bid on a particular keyword. In a world without Average Position, what competitive metrics can paid search marketers use to govern their bidding strategies? Andrew explores the value of two key competitive metrics in Part 35 of The Science of PPC.

Read Part 35

Part 36: Ten Telltale Characteristics of Failed PPC Accounts

After 20+ years of conducting account audits and participating in clinics and workshops at industry events, Andrew has seen his fair share of paid search fails, from settings-level mistakes and neglected modifiers to “fake work” and strategic misfires. Get his advice for what not to do when managing PPC accounts in Part 36.

Read Part 36

Part 37: In Company-Building, Beware the Cargo Cult

Company growth and paid search strategies aren’t as different as you might think. In Part 37, Andrew analyzes three questionable responses to competitor success and focuses on broader signals that can indicate growth to show how PPC is nearly synonymous with company-building.

Read Part 37

Part 38: How Modern Portfolio Theory Sheds Light on PPC Strategy

From smoother overall performance to better returns and reduced risk, diversification offers investors and PPC pros many advantages. In Part 38, Andrew applies modern portfolio theory to paid search to explore why diversifying may be your best bet for achieving PPC success.

Read Part 38

Part 39: Four Misconceptions About Audiences for SEM

Google Ads offers many audience definitions that can be used for more than just remarketing, but many advertisers harbor serious misconceptions about how helpful audiences these can be. Andrew makes the case for putting this oft-neglected feature to good use in Part 39.

Read Part 39

Part 40: What Do We Know About “Unknown”? What May or May Not be Going on Inside That Elusive Demographic Segment

In many cases, “Unknown” tends to be the largest demographic segment in Google Ads. In Part 40, Andrew explores the characteristics that may lie beneath the unknowns to help paid search pros understand their users and maximize PPC success.

Read Part 40