There are a lot of great resources when you think about “lists of marketing blogs”. The Top Rank Blog’s “BIGLIST” of blogs is remarkably extensive, Ad Age has an excellent list of 150 top marketing blogs, and people are creating marketing blog lists all the time. Thinking specifically about PPC there seem to be far fewer resources (James Zolman at SEMvironment has a great list, but it’s a couple of years old).
But while there are a tremendous number of SEO blogs, many of them well known, well trafficked, and well written, there seems to be a disproportionately lower number of PPC blogs. I’ve always found this a bit curious, but I suppose it makes sense as blogging and blog promotion is often either a direct responsibility or an important overlapping component for SEOs – far more so than the average PPC campaign manager. But recently I’ve noticed a definite uptick in the number of really strong pay-per click focused blogs and blog content. As a result I thought we’d put together a comprehensive “living” list of all the best pay-per click focused blogs. The main criteria are:
- Some PPC Focus – not requiring 100% here but PPC should at least be amongst the core focuses on these blogs
- Delivers Real Value – Sometimes “beginner” content is new to some people (namely beginners) so we won’t take off points for more pedestrian content, but the blog does need to add some value over what you can get in the AdWords help section
- Updates at Least Sometimes – Certainly don’t need to be daily blogs, but none of the blogs on the list should be so far outdated that a trip to the blog wouldn’t provide value for the visitor (and you should let us know if they are).
- A custom Google search engine (available below, hat tip to this post and James Zolman and Lee Odden’s idea to set up a custom search engine that queries only those blogs)
- A Blekko slash tag
- An OPTML file so you can add all the blogs to your favorite reader
- A Twitter List so you can find all the awesome bloggers below on Twitter and see what they’re sharing
We’ve also created a badge for the winning sites:
All right well without further ado and in no particular order, here is our collection of the Best PPC Blogs on the Interwebs:
Marin Software is a leading provider of both Enterprise (>$100K) and Professional (<$100K) online advertising management software. Started in 2006 they have continued to grow their impressive list of customers through the years as well as expanding the capabilities of their platform. As the world of Social and Mobile advertising has expanded they have built a comprehensive solution that meets online advertisers' needs. We currently work with many of Marin's customers and have seen a high level of satisfaction. BoostCTR recommends Marin for advertisers looking for a consolidated ad solution..
- 2 Ways to Decrease Your First Page Minimum Bid
- Compelling Trends from Marin’s 2012 Q1 Report
- Stop Paying for Unwanted Clicks with Our Negative Keyword Strategies
Brad Geddes is definitely one of the smartest guys in search marketing. Brad contributes to the pay-per click community in a variety of ways, including frequent contributions on Webmaster World’s forums, a regular column on Search Engine Land, and a frequent speaker and presenter at various conferences and through his AdWords Seminars – and he wrote an outstanding book on Advanced Google AdWords. Brad’s blog has a wealth of great how-to information and he frequently unearths functionality from within the PPC platform interfaces that most people didn’t know existed, and demonstrates how and why it’s valuable.
- Secret Underground Techniques Busted: 27.65% CTR Available with Just Testing
- It’s Called an Ad Group and Not a Keyword Group for a Reason
- The SEMMY Nominations are Out: 2 More for Brad Geddes (This post is a great run-down of some of Brad’s best articles)
The Eisenberg brothers are giants in the online marketing space, having authored a number of authoritative books and spoken at and even keynoted some of the biggest marketing conferences they are clearly thought leaders in the space and the content on the blog is of just as high a quality as their published works and presentations.
- A Quick and Cheap Way to Find Blind Spots in Your PPC Campaigns
- The Secret Behind Successful PPC Advertising
- The Biggest Lie of Pay-Per Click Marketing
PPC Blog has quickly become a top resource for PPC content. The site’s main focus is on a paid PPC Training and Community program, but they share a lot of great tips and insights on the public-facing blog. Geordie Carswell is the site’s main author and has a really interesting perspective as someone who leveraged PPC to drive a tremendous amount of business for an affiliate network – so he understands things from the perspective of both the typical advertiser and the affiliate, and he maintains the PPC Blog Community, which is home to a lot of smart advertisers and a lot of smart affiliates. All of that gives him access to a lot of data that tends to be a step or two ahead of some blog content, and is really evident in the content on PPC Blog.
Chad’s a definite “future star” in the space and is already really a thought leader. Chad’s blog is outstanding because it offers a level of detail and practical application that you almost never see in paid search blogs. Chad has an outstanding mix of in-depth video how-to content and a nice collection of free pre-formatted spreadsheets that can help you do everything from implement modified broad match to identify negative search queries.
3 Posts We Like from PPC Prospector
- How to Calculate Peer Comparisons for PPC Data Analysis
- PPC Text Ad Testing for Statistical Significance
- Search Query Mining for Campaign Negatives
The team at Click Equations are some of the smartest and most passionate people in paid search, and that is definitely reflected in their blog content. The Click Equations blog is generally authored by Craig Danuloff and Alex Cohen, and the content is a nice mix of editorial around news and trends in paid search, along with more tactical how-to content and in-depth articles on paid search approach and philosophy.
3 Posts We Like from The Click Equations Blog
- High Resolution PPC (this is actually a category and not a post, but we couldn’t pick just one post)
- The Match Type Keyword Trap
- The Economics of Quality Score
Search Engine Land features some of the greatest minds in paid search in their collection of pay-per click content, including Josh Dreller, Brad Geddes, Matt Van Wagner, and more. These break down into three excellent column categories:
3 Columns from Search Engine Land on PPC
Similar to the Search Engine Land columns, Search Engine Watch features a collection of outstanding PPC minds contributing to a regular column on the site. Authors such as John Lee and Joe Kerschbaum from Clix and Alex Cohen from Click Equations regularly contribute the SEW Search Advertising Column and pack it with advice on how to improve your paid search campaigns.
3 Posts We Like from The Search Engine Watch Search Advertising Column
- Testing is a Waste of Time
- A Ten Day Play to Overhaul Your PPC Campaign
- How General Keywords Can Influence Brand Related Keywords
Like the SEL and SEW columns, the Search Engine Journal paid search column is a great collaborative effort with contributors like Brian Carter, Glenn Gabe, Kate Morris and Boost CEO David Greenbaum.
3 Posts We Like from Search Engine Journal
- Ad Text Optimization: What to Test and When
- Facebook Advertising vs. Google AdWords
- Seven Advanced Questions About Quality Score Answered
David Szetela has been speaking and writing about pay-per click marketing for years (he even wrote the book), and has been blogging at Clix for years. David’s contributions are always excellent but his busy schedule keeps him from posting as frequently as he once did, but Clix team members John Lee and Joe Kershbaum are two of the best PPC bloggers in the business (both formerly of PPC Hero, which is also included in this list) and have begun contributing to the blog regularly of late.
3 Posts We Like from The Clix Marketing Blog
- How to Compare Your PPC Performance to Your Competitors
- Five things to Try with Google AdWords Campaign Experiements
- Claim Your SERP Real Estate with Google’s Product Extension Ads
The RKG Blog has consistently created outstanding advanced paid search content for years. Some of the best analysis and commentary on important changes in the AdWords system, bid management best practices, cross channel attribution, and more lives on the RKG Blog – it might not be a great first stop for beginners trying to get a handle on PPC basics, but every serious paid search marketer should frequent the blog at some point in their career.
3 Posts We Like from RKG Blog
PPC Hero is hands-down one of the best and best-read blogs on paid search marketing. It’s been around for years, and is updated daily by the team at Hannapin Marketing. The blog offers a wealth of how-to materials and always has the latest updates on the AdWords platform, Facebook PPC, adCenter, etc. and they do a nice roundup of PPC news every Friday.
3 Posts We Like from PPC Hero
- The Quality Score Handbook
- Revitalize Your Campaign in Five Days
- PPC Hero Blog Series (A great collection of blog series from PPC Hero)
The Redfly blog offers one of the best balances of really thorough how-to guide content and unique, interesting, advanced tactics that aren’t rehashed from other blogs around the Web. The Redfly team posts on the blog and founder Dave Davis consistently makes excellent contributions on the blog.
3 Posts We Like from Redfly Marketing
- The Ultimate Quality Score Guide
- How to Use AdWords for SEO
- Dynamic Keyword Insertion: The Ultimate Guide
The Efficient Frontier Blog is a great example of a strong corporate B2B blog: they offer a ton of proprietary (but anonymized) data from their clients around trends in how paid search is performing, distribution of spend across engines, useful case studies, commentary on important events in the paid search space, and how-to content.
3 Posts We Like from Efficient Frontier Blog
- Google Instant Brand Bias
- The Next Chapter in the Display Wars
- Economics of the Yahoo Microsoft Alliance
The Seer Interactive Blog has become one of the best blogs in the search marketing space – the blog has a ton of outstanding content on SEO but they also have a category dedicated to PPC and the content there is very good as well and well worth a read and an add to your RSS feed.
3 Posts We Like from The Seer Interactive Blog
- Five Simple Steps for PPC Ad Testing
- Step By Step Guide for Using AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE) for Ad Testing
- How to Increase Your PPC ROI from Modified Broad Match
PPCAnalytica has just entered the PPC blog space with their first post on 12/02/2010: Generating a Sample of AdWords Data Using R. Some of you may be uncomfortable with the technical nature of this blog, but I assure that most great PPC insights come from an intimate knowledge of the underlying data that makes up our PPC campaigns. This blog promises to shed light on the more technical side of PPC, like: managing very large accounts, decision making with sparse data, statistics for PPC, and other new and interesting PPC challenges. This is not your average PPC blog content.
3 Posts We Like from PPCAnalytica
The Overdrive Interactive blog isn’t strictly PPC focused but the blog has some great content on a number of different eMarketing topics, paid search and pay-per click marketing included.
3 Posts We Like from Overdrive Interactive Blog
- 11 Paid Search Tips You Should Always Follow
- Google AdWords Massive Brand QS Algo Flaw
- Tips for Writing Facebook Ad Copy
James Zolman writes the semvironment Blog and though he only posts occasionally, the content is always interesting and often offers a unique take on paid search marketing.
3 Posts We Like from semvironment
- What is Truly Automated PPC Bid Management Technology?
- Manual PPC Bid Management is Dead
- The Invasion of the Text Ad Clones
The Acquisio Blog posts periodically, but often offers a lot of unique insights on search in general and particularly on PPC. They also expose some great free tools that are very handy for paid search marketers.
3 Posts We Like from the Acquisio Blog
The SEM Science Blog isn’t a typical paid search blog: you don’t see updates on the newest features in pay-per click interfaces and you don’t see traditional how-to information, but rather a series of guide and articles on PPC philosophy that feature fresh takes on various elements of paid search campaign management.
3 Posts We Like from The SEM Science Blog
- Closing the Paid Search Knowing Doing Gap
- A Search Engine Marketing Guide to Goal Setting & Results
- A Guide to Managing the Human Side of Search Marketing
The Search Agents blog features a mix of SEO and PPC content and you can grab all the PPC content in this category, and the paid search content is quite good and shares a nice amount of proprietary data as well as having some unique and contrarian takes on conventional PPC wisdom.
3 Posts We Like from The Search Agents
- Google AdWords Standard and Accelerated Delivery: The Simple Story of the Tortoise and the Hare
- Click Through Rate Jumps 11.4% After Google Changes “Sponsored Links” to “Ads”
- Ad Auctions are Not Auctions
The Komarketing blog is primarily authored by Derek Edmund, and the blog focuses on B2B Marketing tips and tactics. The blog is home to a lot of great PPC advice for B2B marketers.
3 Posts We Like from the Komarketing Blog
Shawn Livengood is one of a handful of “newer” bloggers creating great content that leverages their in-the-trenches experiences – reading Shawn’s blog you can tell his observations and specific advice come from hands on experience.
3 Posts We Like from PPC Without Pity
- Automation in PPC Management: Pros and Cons
- Essential Calculators for PPC Professionals
- In Praise of Small Keyword Lists
David Rodnitzky is a very smart guy and knows a lot about PPC, and the Blogation blog has a lot of great content about running an agency and about current topics and trends in paid search marketing.
3 Posts We Like from Blogation
- Be the Client
- Will Facebook be the Death of the Google Content Network and AdSense?
- Why Marketing Should Rarely be Accountable for Offline Sales
Melissa Mackey is a well-known paid search marketing expert who has had appearances on shows such as Wilson Web and PPC Rockstars as well as being a contributer to Search Engine Watch, and her blog and Twitter stream are top-notch resources for pay-per click best practices and new wrinkles and features in the paid search platforms.
3 Posts We Like from Searching Beyond the Paid
Robert Brady is another PPC specialist with a great Twitter feed for discovering new PPC content, and his blog has some great insights on issues with the Facebook PPC platform and best practices around the AdWords and paid search platforms.
3 Posts We Like from Righteous Marketing
- Why I Hate Facebook PPC Ads
- Free AdWords Checklist: The 13 Deadly Sins
- Four Ideas for Landing Page Forms
In addition to his contributions on the Click Equations Blog and Search Engine Watch, Alex Cohen maintains his own blog where he periodically contributes insights you won’t find in the other two publications and posts his presentations from the numerous conferences where Click Equations is present.
3 Posts We Like from Digital Alex
- 4 Ways Reports Suck and How to Fix Them and the video
- Stop Keyword Research: Start Query Mining
- Predictive Analytics 101: An Interview with Eric Siegel, PHD
Garry Przyklenk maintains a great blog over at PPC Advice, and his presence at several marketing trade shows allows him to put together some great interviews on the subject of paid search.
3 Posts We Like from PPC Advice
- Findings from the SEMPO Survey
- Interview with Craig Danuloff of Click Equations
- Interview with Avinash Kaushik
The Official Blogs of the Platforms Themselves
Getting information from the horse’s mouth is always a good idea, and the AdWords related Google blogs and the Microsoft adCenter Blog are often the best place to get the latest information on new features and policy changes on the AdWords platform.
The Official Search Engine Platform Blogs:
The AimClear blog doesn’t focus solely on PPC, but there is a wealth of great content on the topic on the blog, and they have some of the best Facebook PPC campaign management content on the planet.
3 Posts We Like from The Aimclear Blog
- Radical Keyword Research Scrapebox Suggestion Mining
- Deadeye YouTube SEO
- Facebook SEO Ranking Factors
The WordStream blog covers a variety of topics but posts regularly on the topic of PPC (including posts from yours truly) – Chad Summerhill from PPC Prospector is another frequent poster there, and Elisa Gabbert does a fantastic weekly roundup that often covers various paid search topics.
3 Posts We Like from The WordStream Internet Marketing Blog
- Pimp Your PPC Ad: 5 Lessons from Bad PPC Ads
- How to Use AdWords Campaign Experiments
- The Advanced Search Query Mining Series
The Portent blog features a variety of online marketing content, but you can check out the PPC category where you’ll find some great how-to content and actionable best practice suggestions.
3 Posts We Like from The Portent Interactive Blog
Andrew Goodman writes the Traffick blog, which has a number of different focuses but produces a good deal of content on the subject of PPC. Andrew wrote the book Winning Results with Google AdWords, is an excellent writer, and puts out a lot of high-quality content on paid search tactics and trends on the Traffick blog.
3 Posts We Like from Traffick
- The Google AdWords Tourist Tax
- Five Edgy Paid Search Techniques that Aren’t Black Hat
- Do You Need to Rethink Your Assumptions
The Ion blog isn’t strictly about PPC, per sey, but they cover a critical component of pay-per click marketing: landing page optimization. Additionally, they frequently relate CRO to paid search and PPC, so the blog is a major asset for anyone managing a paid search campaign.
3 Posts We Like from Ion Interactive
- Five Part Creating Effective Landing Pages Blog Series
- The Ultimate Landing Page Resource Guide
- A Comparative Chart of Online Testing Waves
The Unbounce Blog is a relatively new blog that focuses on landing page optimization. Oli Gardner is the primary author over there and the content is consistently excellent – like the Ion Interactive Blog, the focus isn’t strictly on pay-per click but the focus on landing page optimization will help you get some great tips on a crucial component of successful paid search.
3 Posts We Like from The Unbounce Blog
- Seven Elements of a Winning Landing Page
- 8 Visual Design Techniques to Focus Your Attention on Your Landing Page
- Love PPC? You Should Love Landing Pages Too.
The PPC Summit blog is a great resource maintained by The Internet Marketing Institute – the organizers of various seminars and conferences on paid search, social media, online marketing in general. The blog features a mix of staff contributions and guest posts from various contributors.
3 Posts We Like from The PPC Summit Blog
- Four Strategies for Building Your Negative Keyword List (And How to Implement Them)
- Does it Make Sense to Bid on Your Own Brand?
- Is PPC Marketing Right for High End Products & Services?
The calculate Marketing Blog is Allan Mitchell’s blog. Allan Mitchell is a frequent commenter on a number of paid search marketing blogs, and his insights and input are always interesting and thoughtful. His blog is no different. Not unlike the Click Equations blog he churns out a nice combination of practical PPC how-to content and higher level paid search philosophy.
3 Posts We Like from The PPC Summit Blog
- Google AdWords Broad Match Generator
- The Economics of PPC Pricing: Why Profit Sharing is the Future
- The Ten Percent Clicks Rule Part Three: Does it Work?
Matt is one of our favorite people in PPC – he’s very active on Twitter and does a great job of engaging followers and responding to people he follows (imagine that!). Both his Twitter feed and his blog have a very “in the trenches” type of feel because he’s clearly knee deep in pay-per click campaigns. He shares a nice mix of how-to content and occasional odds and ends regarding new features and updates within paid search platforms.
3 Posts We Like from The PPC Blog by Matthew Umbrow
- Living in a Quality Score World
- Utilizing AdWords Site Links My Way
- Are you Calculating Total PPC Campaign Revenue
This one almost doesn’t meet our frequency requirements, but the content when updated is strong enough to land them on the list. You’ll find a nice mix of commentary on news and actual test results on the SEM Booty Blog making it more than worth the read.
3 Posts We Like from the SEM Booty Blog
- Testing PPC Sitelinks with Some Surprising Results
- How to Launch a PPC Reseller Program
- What Traits Make a Good Search Marketer?
Gordon Choi posts on a variety of topics, and has some great high-level stuff on paid search as well as coverage of other engines and other markets that rarely get attention, such as Yandex and Baidu.
3 Posts We Like from PPC Blog
The SEM Geek blog has been around for years and Greg Myers does a great job delivering a variety of PPC tips, commentary, and interviews. Some of his input on the subject of political PPC is particularly interesting.
3 Posts We Like from SEM Geek
- Keyword Research Tip: The Real Goldmines are In Your Content
- Tips on How to Better Visualize PPC Strategies
- Why We Should Stop Measuring Our Fees by a Client’s PPC Ad Budget
Dan Perach and Elan Perach update the PPC Proz blog only occasionally, but when they do there are often some really interesting insights shared there. Dan is also really active in the paid search community and can frequently be seen commenting on other blogs in the space.
3 Posts We Like from PPC Proz
- AdWords Broad Match Keyword Bloopers
- Ad Split Testing Method for Content Campaigns
- The Great PPC Spy Tool Myth
The Web Ranking blog covers a variety of search marketing topics, but the paid search content is quite good and occasionally offers interesting insights on trending topics in PPC.
3 Posts We Like from the Web Ranking Blog
More Great PPC Blogs:
As we predicted, when we first created the list there were plenty of people we missed. Here is the list of blogs we’ve had pointed out to us since launching the Best PPC Blogs list which are all also certainly amongst the best PPC blogs on the Web:
Know someone we missed? Drop a line in the comments!