I’ll be at Search Engine Strategies in February this year. I’m not speaking or moderating but I’ve managed to wrangle myself a press pass.
Woo-hoo! Now; one of the reasons I was able to secure such a prestigious pass is that I’ve covered SES in the past. In order to be a good press pass holder this year I want to do some typical bloggy things this year. For example, I’ve pestered the folks over at SES to let me do some Q&A style interviews before the event itself. I put David Szetela, CEO of Paid Search specialists Clix Marketing, in my targets for this mission and to my great fortune he stepped forward.
Q: We’re connected via TripIT and I see just how much travel you do. Does this mean the human touch and face to face meetings are still needed in today’s digital world? Is that a reflection on PPC automation?
Absolutely. It’s very difficult to establish and build good, tight relationships without at least occasional face-to-face contact. And there is an associated PPC automation metaphor. Personally I think the term is oxymoronic; all PPC automation software I’ve seen requires an experienced, skilled hand to operate it.
Q: You’re making the trip all the way to London for Search Engine Strategies and even if you were to depart from your New York office that’s quite some distance to travel. What value does a city like London hold when it comes to search marketing?
In addition to being one of the greatest city on earth, filled with wonderful, talented people and a rich history, it’s obviously an important business hub and a bridge between Western and Non-Western societies. Though I’ve visited here many times, I can’t claim to know the “PPC scene” here intimately – that’s one of the goals of my trip.
Q: Do you see any differences in Paid Search marketing when it comes to the UK and US? What about between the east and west sides of the States?
There are differences between any two locations of any size, and those differences can be leveraged to the benefit of knowledgeable PPC advertisers. I love those differences; I’m chuffed to be able to analyise the local colour. (Sorry; couldn’t resist.)
Q: You’re a speaker in the Advanced Paid Search Techniques session on Day Three. In fact, you’re the only speaker granted time in that session who is not also on the SES Advisory Board so it’s quite clear you’re an extremely heavy hitter in all-things Paid Search. What do you plan to address in your session?
I’ll be talking about the new Google ad formats – especially SiteLinks, product Extensions and Product Listings. My agency is getting great results from these for our clients, and I think they’re among the most exciting and impactful developments for PPC advertisers from the past year.
Q: What would be a good question for someone in the Search Engine Strategies audience to ask you?
Did you really wear Neil Young’s tie while giving a presentation several years ago?
Q: It’s not a sexy topic but the use of tokens for Google’s API and bid management can make or break paid search technology and strategies. Did Google do the right thing in rolling out a token based system? Do you see any pressure on the price of tokens?
I think the token system will eventually go away – and good riddance. It was put into place to govern the number of API calls a developer could make, and it’s an anachronism from days when bandwidth and hard disk space were tight. Once the limits are removed, I think we’ll see even more exciting features and functionality from third-party tool vendors.Q: Have you dabbled at all in alternative paid search offerings? OneRiot’s real time search or Pheedo RSS ads, for example. What’s your view? A distraction or a competitive advantage?
Q: Where do you see the future of Paid Search going? More mobile, click to call, greater use of rich media such as video?
Yes, yes and yes. Audience members will hear more about the future of non-text advertising during my SES London presentation; I also have a string of webcasts and presentations through the summer that will talk mainly about the short-term and mid-term future of advertising in general. In a nutshell, advertising will get more tightly targeted to people, places and times, and that will be good news for consumers and advertisers.
Q: There are certainly far fewer PPC focused blogs than there are SEO focused blogs. Which three PPC blogs, perhaps those not most commonly found in people’s RSS readers, would you recommend as worth following?
There are several very good ones, and we’ve listed them on the blogroll of my company’s blog, http://clixmarketing.com/blog. My top favorites are PPC Hero from my friends at Hannapin Marketing, Traffick.com from the erudite and well-coiffed Andrew Goodman, and he RKG blog from the Rimm Kaufmann Group.