Sep 4, 2011

Sean Marshall, Director of SEM at PPC Associates: If Quality Score decreases, so be it.

SEM industry moves too quickly and frames not only with Google AdWords UI. So I decided to talk about last trends and news, SEM myths and customer’s profitability and sustainable growth with a well-know specialist Sean Marshall, who is coming on 15th September to Kiev for special presentation.

Sean Marshall, Director of SEM at PPC Associates. Based on his words, he is managing a team of 13 SEM and Facebook account managers - crafting processes to facilitate the growth of our team and client base. He likes to roll his sleeves up and help account managers create the right strategies for PPC Associates clients.  Before that Sean had a great experience in Webtrends with end to end paid search (SEM) campaign management and optimization on all major networks (Google/Yahoo/MSN/Ask) for B2C and B2B clients across a broad spectrum of verticals. 

- How do you see main trends in future SEO? Mostly regarding the issue that the SEO industry already suffers from a negative reputation caused by poor service being dished out by too many inexperienced and under qualified SEM providers...

- In my opinion, the biggest trend in search engine marketing is attribution.  Understanding how customers interact with your ads, and how SEM fits into all marketing, is very important.

The reputation of the SEM industry is strong but many agencies provide poor service.  There are many inexperienced people with great potential but, you should work with experts.  SEM is complex and requires deep knowledge.

-  Google is calling for help in identifying a long-running problem: scraper sites in its search results — and particularly scraper sites that are ranking higher than the original page. Here is Matt Cutts tweet about it. What is your point of view on this news? Is it a signal that Google is testing algorithmic changes for scraper sites (especially blog scrapers)?

- Luckily, we do not have to worry about scrapper sites in SEM.  Some people double-serve ads but Google has gotten better at policing this (like they are with scrapper sites).

-  Not so far Marcus Taylor made s simple test about how Google+ Like button influence on web site ranking. Did you mention any interesting facts during that time regarding new social network and SEM?

- Since my focus is PPC, I am interested in Google+ as it relates to Facebook.  Google has struggled in the social space and I doubt they will succeed here.  As an SEM, I would mostly like Google+ to grow because it would be easier to advertise via AdWords than Facebook’s UI.

-  What is the most boring task you had as SEM specialist?

- I think most SEM’s will agree that the most boring task is looking for negative keywords. While this is very important work, studying thousands of queries for negatives is time consuming.

-  What are main common myths regarding SEM, which you heard from your top clients such as Microsoft Store, ExactTarget, Dickies, Mass Mutual, SunTrust, and etc.?

- Most SEM myths are about Quality Score.  You hear many opinions on what Google looks at to calculate Quality Score.  In the end, only one thing matters: click through rate.  SEM’s need to be careful when trying to improve CTR.  There are many cheap tricks to increase CTR that might help Quality Score but attract the wrong customer. Focus on conversions and finding the right customer.  If Quality Score decreases, so be it.

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