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This week’s PPCChat session was an interesting one. Experts shared their most unpopular take on paid social, what is their PPC conspiracy theory, what is their most controversial take on any aspect of PPC like automation, reporting, etc. Hosted by Julie F Bacchini, here is the screencap of the complete chat.

Automation does not work for low-volume accounts. @NeptuneMoon

90% of paid search results come from 10% of the work. AKA, the basics of a platform are far more important than the bells and whistles and catchphrases. @gilgildner

My Controversial Opinion. People undervalue things with poor measurement and over value those with good visibility. Leads to some very bad resource allocations and outright lies on some platforms. @armondhammer

Hmm what will piss off people the least today? Well: -I prefer rules over scripts -I take max click strat over conversions on brand -I still separate by device and match type -I don’t trust bing’s syndication network. @JonKagan

That 80% of people working in this industry don’t know what they are doing. Most are just really good at sales, smoke & mirrors and average performance. @duanebrown

I don’t know why this is controversial, but it seems to be: “Google is not your friend.” @stevegibsonppc

Smart Shopping is not for agencies, it’s for small businesses that can’t afford agencies. Obviously, there are caveats (as this is a controversial take) but the only time we use smart shopping is for small subsets of products that don’t fit in our overall strategy. @selley2134

Automation is just a way to obfuscate the garbage platforms allow to prop up their bottom lines. @robert_brady

Bing stinks. @PPCGreg

I don’t think (I hope) it’s not unpopular anymore, but I don’t believe in SKAGs for search. Google was already loosening match types when I wrote my opposition to it back in early 2019 (which got some heat at the time) and have continued in that direction as expected. @akaEmmaLouise

I don’t think this is one controversial amongst us – but more amongst clients – that Paid Search doesn’t work in a silo. integrated strategy/visibility of other channel strategy is the best way to do Paid Search optimally. @TheMarketingAnu

Do not trust Google reps, their goals and agenda are not the same as your brand. Google is no longer the smartest person in the room. @lchasse

Google doesn’t set out to screw advertisers. @Pete_Bowen

Q2: What is your most controversial or unpopular take on paid social?

Paid Social – Thanks to hate clicks and other false engagement, a lot of targeting is sheer garbage. I keep getting ads for crypto, but my opinion on it is that we’re at version 0.0.1 of something usable (for example) @armondhammer

My controversial take on paid social is that it only works for *very* few verticals. The vast majority of paid social advertisers should be concentrating their budgets elsewhere, especially if they’re higher-margin or B2B. @gilgildner

Creative changes don’t matter as much as you think they do. Or I should say, creative changes for the sake of change don’t matter as much as you think they do. @NeptuneMoon

It’s not all about Targeting. It’s not all about Creative. Getting clicks (even from the right people) doesn’t matter if you aren’t prepared to move them forward post-click. Social clicks are valuable but we have to return that value with a great customer experience. @akaEmmaLouise

As a B2B marketer who used to do social full-time, I also have to add: just because you are B2B with a high AOV/LTV offer, doesn’t mean LinkedIn is a fit for you. It’s only right if it’s where your audience is *and* how they want to engage with you. @akaEmmaLouise

That Snapchat users are too young for me to spend on for mid-high pricepoint products. @JonKagan

Just because your company is B2B, doesn’t mean LinkedIn ads are the best way to go. @dylanppc

That the learning phase does nothing. The goal is just to get you to spend more money. @duanebrown

Q3: What is your most controversial or unpopular take on any aspect of PPC (automation, attribution, reporting, privacy, etc.)?

I happen to think that most privacy issues are actually storage issues for the engines. @armondhammer

I think that digital marketing folks (clients, agencies, freelancers) get easily distracted by our egos. PPC is actually pretty simple. It ain’t sexy. This is not Mad Men. In the end, we’re just salespeople makin’ sales, and our client ROI is all that matters. @gilgildner

One day our jobs won’t exist due to automation. @rachel_lowell

Popular opinion: I don’t trust @GoogleAds automation…based on history. @JonKagan

A3: Attribution has always been a fairy tale. @NeptuneMoon

I’ve heard a lot “trust the data” and “make data-based decisions.” Which is a great philosophy, but as Joey Lucas told us “numbers lie all the time.” That is, data in a vacuum means nothing, and can be dangerous if misinterpreted. Good data requires sound methodology. @akaEmmaLouise

That automated bidding will backfire as often as not. @stevegibsonppc

Search ad copy is much less important than targeting (keywords) and placement (top vs. other segment) @PPCGreg

Automation isn’t just a necessary evil – it’s actually helpful. We can spend our time on bigger problems/solutions, and the platform makes decisions on the little things. We just have to be good guides. @_RileyDuncan

This may be more conspiracy than controversial but Google is taking away data – not for privacy but to prop up their own automation. @selley2134

Some others have eluded to it, but removing our search data is just so Google can make more money and hide the fact their matching is turning into garbage. @lchasse

That sitting down during Black Friday and changing your bids that week is the biggest waste of time. @duanebrown

Honestly, I’ve been telling people to stop worrying about “long tail keyword research” for about five years now, and folks still think they’re gonna find some magic $0.01 keyword… @gilgildner

To focus on increasing Quality Score. Arrghh….conversions should always be the focus and you can sometimes gain good conversions on a poor QS keyowrd. @TheMarketingAnu

Airbnb’s take on running ads and how it was a scam, but today if you search in Google or Microsoft, guess who is running ads? Feels like that point can be dropped, they tried it and came back…@lchasse

“People will welcome highly relevant ads” Nope. People do not want ads in their social feeds. They tolerate them and occasionally will click on them and convert, but let’s stop acting like people just want better ads… they do not. @NeptuneMoon

Honestly, the importance of attribution and calculating ROI at the channel/campaign/ad level. The longer I’m in marketing, the more I’m seeing how user journeys are not at all linear and it’s cohesive marketing that serves the bottom line more than any one element. @akaEmmaLouise

Bidding on brand terms. It is needed, and necessary. Quit making write POV’s on why I need to reaffirm your insecurity @JonKagan

This may not be what you’re looking for here, but I wish the Google Partner Program would die a fiery death. It’s so absurdly one sided. I think mark pointed out that for going full smart campaign they were offering half a tote bag as incentive. @armondhammer

That clients own their ad accounts…and they do…why even ask if agency’s should be owning it if they get fired. @duanebrown

Q5: What is your secret PPC conspiracy theory?

Tinfoil Hat Time: Every last platform thinks of the advertising agency as a parasite taking their money. They will do anything to remove us from the equation. True tinfoil time – a lot of times with the crap agencies all we are is a leech. @armondhammer

That there is no privacy issue with Google not showing us all our keyterms in SQR. they are just trying to make a profit. @TheMarketingAnu

Advertising platforms don’t care AT ALL about privacy unless it helps their bottom line. Apple iOS tracking? They’re just boosting their ad business. Google search terms? Just hiding bad matching. @robert_brady

I kind of said this in my other answer, but I think hiding the search terms before changing the matching criteria on exact and phrase was just pre-empting what they knew was going to happen. More money, because we are paying for terms that we do not want. @lchasse

Platforms do not give a crap about privacy. It is ALL theater to try to stave off regulation and competition with each other as they race to create the highest walled garden. Or, to not let us see the crap we have to take to get the clicks we really want. @NeptuneMoon

Google advertising is a stock market that can/does get manipulated by Google to influence changes for advertisers to increase budgets or allocate budget in certain areas. @dylanppc

No secret. the ad platforms don’t care about anyone but themselves. The minute you accept that …we can change the game. @duanebrown

I’m kind of curious about what kind of internal financial footwork occurs to shift around money when Google pays for a click on ads for its own services. @timothyjjensen

In the next 3 years Google will create a small business “agency”. Their value prop will be to spend what you are currently spending on your agency on ad spend and they will manage for free. @selley2134

It isn’t a secret. 1. Google wants to get rid of keywords. 2. Google wants to get rid of the people managing Google and just take it over themselves. @JonKagan

I wouldn’t say I have any conspiracy theories. Google has to keep increasing its ad revenue. At the same time, it has a ton of garbage ad inventory advertisers don’t want. It will continue to try to force us to bid on it. @stevegibsonppc

Q6: Do you have a controversial or unpopular or unusual take on a topic outside of PPC that you’d like to share?

Ramen is good….still just fancy soup. @duanebrown

I’m gonna sit this one out, lest I get crucified for my unorthodox views (I mean, probably rightfully so) @gilgildner

Outside of PPC, but in my domain of food: Despite all of my foodieness, I love a McGriddle. It’s literally makes no sense. It’s all of breakfast thrown into a sandwich with cheese added for good measure. I rarely eat breakfast, but that somehow I enjoy. @armondhammer

Seafood is gross. @beyondthepaid

I would say, but they could be watching right now! @lchasse

Ice cream is just … ok @rachel_lowell

Just because you have kids, does not mean you have to like all other kids. @NeptuneMoon

Not chasing the next pay raise/promotion is okay. Lifestyle businesses are just as good as high growth unicorns. @robert_brady

Mayonnaise doesn’t belong on ANYTHING let alone everything. @dylanppc

This one has been on my mind a lot lately.. I think it’s important to have a support network that can physically get to you in an hour or [much] less (regardless of traffic). Have family that don’t have that (and they have a toddler) & I think that’s a problem. @TheMarketingAnu

Eggplants are filthy liars, pretending to be meat. @JonKagan

Taylor Swift hasn’t produced anything good since she dropped country and went pop. Please don’t come after me…. @selley2134

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