Posted by & filed under PPCChat.

This week’s PPCChat session was hosted by Julie F Bacchini and the topic of discussion was coping with changes in the PPC platform, how to stay informed about it, steps to take when a change is announced and more.

Here is the screencap of the discussion that took place.


ppcchat discussion


Q1: How important do you rank “ability to roll with unexpected changes” for people working in paid search?


I think adaptability and calm in the face of the unexpected are fantastic qualities for a PPC pro to possess.– @NeptuneMoon

It’s like my ability to roll with the fact that tweets are being cut off now in tweetchat and I have to click on them. – 


Q2: What is the most recent change that is impacting you right now? And what are you doing to cope with it?


Google Grants change was out of left field, so that’s the worst kind. Also, the new AdWords UI “rollout” is plaguing me. I keep trying to work more in it, but always get too frustrated and revert. – @NeptuneMoon


Q3: When an unexpected (not previously announced) change happens to one of the major platforms, what are the first steps you typically take?


Definitely look for more information first (twitter and blogs I trust) and then make a plan. – @NeptuneMoon

Draft a client email template so they can see we are “out in front” of it and staying on top of the industry and their account. – 

More than once a change like this has been a benefit to our clients. It’s about how you communicate with them. if they’re scared and you scare them more, things can get worse. be a firm hand. – @JuliaVyse

Denial, anger, depression, acceptance, then sometimes happiness. Depending on the update, sometimes I go through this entire cycle in 5 minutes, sometimes 5 weeks depending on the severity of the impact on my workflow. – @timmhalloran

Hit PPCchat to see if it’s hitting everyone. Then try and dive in to see what changed. – 


Q4: What are your criteria for when to alert clients to platform changes? And if you alert them, how do you typically do it?


I alert if either it is clear they will be impacted or if it has the potential to significantly change how we are doing or measuring something. Generally via email, but will call if really major. – @NeptuneMoon

I am also careful with language, since we don’t yet fully know impacts of changes. Use phrases like “we anticipate” or “we are preparing for” rather than absolutes. – @NeptuneMoon

90% of platform changes don’t impact the client – only us. Only communicate what will affect performance in their account. No need to muddy the waters. – 

I also find that most of the smaller changes will come out through the wash (so to speak) naturally through reporting insights if it applies to them and the performance of their account. – 

Like many said, case by case. If it messes up a big campaign for them I’ll send an email with details about the update and then tell them the solution I’ve put in place. – @timmhalloran

Adding your point of view on the change, or how you’ve changed the account in reaction to change is key. Arguable, it’s what they’re paying us for. – 

No real criteria, case by case. If it’s interesting or relevant for that particular client, I let them know. for big changes I write blog posts and share pdfs with more details to our client email list. – @JuliaVyse


Q5: How do you stay informed about changes – both announced and previously unannounced?


I tend to become aware of most things via Twitter – and PPCchat stream in particular and do follow industry blogs and try to remember to read Google’s various posts as well. – @NeptuneMoon

I read SearchCap on SEL every day. It’s nice when someone curates what they see as the most important daily digital marketing content for you in one place! – 

Product kick-offs, reps, Twitter and Paid blogs. – @clickyricky

Checking PPCchat, reading up on the engine blogs and periodically checking the feature changes here : – @_GilHong

Internally, we have a block of time every 2 weeks for sharing what we’ve heard about PPC changes. Helps keep some items from slipping by unnoticed. – 

Subscribe to the AdWords blog, PPCchat, various podcast. – 

Twitter, blogs, emails from Google. – 

For FB has been a great resource. – 

PPCchat is key! Also, another good one is just talking with your peers. PPC is a fast-moving industry, so multiple brains are better than one! – 


Q6: Do you have any mechanisms built in to your projects to account for the inevitable changes in platform policies and/or UI, etc.?


For annual contracts, I always assume there will be some type of tomfoolery I will have to deal with an build in a small reserve for that. Also been thinking a lot more about ways to put the equivalent of “stop losses” into rules/scripts in accounts. – @NeptuneMoon


Q7: Do you have a standard timeframe for evaluating the impact of a platform change? If so, what is it and how to you apply it?


Agree on the ideal timeframe being in the 3 to 6 month range. Also have to take seasonality type factors in to account as to when the changes rolled out. – @NeptuneMoon

Not really, depends on the magnitude of the change and how long to test. So it can really vary vs a standard time-frame. – 

Q8: If you could give others in the industry one piece of advice regarding change and how to best cope with it, what would it be?


Gather as much data and information as you can, but learn to be ok making the best decision you can with the information available at that time. Rarely is anything written in stone – the beauty of digital is it is a “living entity” so RELAX & BREATHE. – @NeptuneMoon

The faster you learn & master change, the better off you’ll be in your job & career. It’s the ultimate job security. – @robert_brady

Cliche, but change is constant, so expect it. – 

Don’t fear change, embrace it. – @clickyricky

Avoid cognitive dissonance and learn from past changes. – @clickyricky

You CAN figure this out. You might feel new, you might feel like there’s too many variables. But if you’re logical, methodical and ask for help, you can do this. – @JuliaVyse

Read more. – 

Find comfort in the flux. Embrace it, enjoy it, and expect it, as it’s our state of normalcy in paid search and social. – 

Marketing has not significantly changed over the modern history of the practice. If you pay more attention to the mistakes of the past, you’ll be much more prepared for any minor tactical flux. – 


PPCChat Participants


Related Links:

Stop wasted ad spend with Karooya

Stop the wasted ad spend. Get more conversions from the same ad budget.

Our customers save over $16 Million per year on Google and Amazon Ads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.