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Top 5 ways to stay up to date on paid search trends

Paid search changes quickly. A single announcement from Google Ads or Microsoft Ads can cause drastic changes in the way advertisers promote their products and services.

Changes can be subtle, like moving functions around in the online user interface. Or they can be massive, like deprecating expanded text ads, launching Performance Max, or dumping Universal Analytics for Google Analytics 4.

It’s imperative that PPC practitioners stay up to date on new developments in the industry. Not only do changes impact performance, but they affect marketing strategy and the way we interact with clients or internal marketing departments.

Staying current on new developments in paid search is so crucial that I always ask potential new hires, “What publications or websites do you read to stay up to date on paid search trends?”

If they can’t answer, or say “Uh, none?” then they don’t move on to the next interview stage.

Here are the top five ways to stay updated on paid search trends.

1. Industry news sites

If you’re reading this article, you’re already reading one of the best news sites for paid search news. Search Engine Land prides itself on sharing the news as it breaks. 

The blogs for the major search engines are also important reading for new feature announcements and other important updates. Both the Google Ads blog and the Microsoft Ads blog are excellent sources for new releases and features.

If you are looking for retail-specific news, the Tinuiti blog is a great resource on all things retail ads, especially Amazon.

2. Email newsletters

What better way to get the latest news than to have it delivered to your inbox every morning? 

Several news sites and organizations have daily or weekly newsletters that round up all the important PPC news.

  • Search Engine Land has its own newsletter. It’s how I start each weekday.
  • MarTech, also a Third Door Media publication, has a daily newsletter, focused on marketing technology news that’s often relevant for PPC professionals.
  • The Paid Search Association sends out daily news links. Membership to the PSA is free.
  • WordStream, a digital marketing solution, has a newsletter covering PPC and SEO.  
  • Doing retail PPC? Check out the Retail Brew newsletter covering all things retail. 
  • If you’re looking for general news on a variety of business topics, including the business of advertising and marketing, SmartBrief offers multiple newsletters to which you can subscribe. 
  • Interested in AI? Who in paid search isn’t? TLDR offers an AI newsletter.

Most marketing agencies offer newsletters, too, giving their own take on the latest PPC and digital advertising news. There are too many to list here.

Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.

3. Online chats

I’ve found the best way to keep up with fast-changing PPC news is by following online chats.

PPCChat, which started on Twitter (now known as X) in 2011 by Matt Umbro and is now run by Julie Bacchini, is one of the most active online chats on paid search.

Follow the #ppcchat hashtag on X to read up-to-the-minute news from PPC professionals.

PPCChat also hosts a weekly chat on a topic every Tuesday at noon Eastern time. The chats have recently moved to Slack due to challenges with X. Anyone can join the lively discussion.

The Paid Search Association also has a Slack channel where PPC news is shared. It’s free to all members of the PSA.

Other X hashtags to follow:

  • #marketingtwitter, covering general marketing topics.
  • #dtctwitter, focused on direct-to-consumer marketing.

4. Follow thought leaders online

Social media channels are full of PPC thought leaders who share news regularly. Let’s start with the major PPC engines.

Google’s Ginny Marvin shares Google Ads updates almost daily on X and LinkedIn.

If you’re running LinkedIn ads, you should also follow AJ Wilcox, the founder of B2LinkedIn, on X or LinkedIn. He shares incredibly helpful tips on how to be successful on LinkedIn Ads. 

Barry Schwartz is one of the OG search news reporters. He covers both PPC and SEO here on Search Engine Land and his own site, Search Engine Roundtable. If there is news out there, Schwartz will report on it via X, LinkedIn, Threads, BlueSky, and probably a bunch more that I didn’t know about.

One of my favorite ways to find PPC thought leaders to follow is to follow conference speakers whose talks I’ve enjoyed. Most speakers will include their social handles in their presentations; if not, search for them.

Some great conference speakers to follow are:

This is by no means a comprehensive list – go find your favorite speakers and give them a follow.

As to where to find influencers, both X and LinkedIn are great places to start. X tends to have more breaking news, while LinkedIn is full of great long-form content, including interpretations of breaking news. Check out both social channels to find great influencers.

5. Marketing podcasts

I love to listen to podcasts while I’m walking or exercising. It’s a great way to absorb news without having to work hard at it.

My all-time favorite PPC news podcast is Marketing O’Clock, hosted by Greg Finn, Christine Zirnheld, Jess Budde, and Nicole Waddington. It’s a weekly podcast covering paid, organic, and social marketing news. The team shares insight into the latest industry news.

The Paid Search Podcast is another source of PPC news. While their schedule isn’t as regular as Marketing O’Clock, it’s still a worthy listen.

Anu Adegbola does a wrap of the weekly PPCChat on the PPCChat Roundup podcast. 

Wilcox hosts a LinkedIn Ads podcast called The LinkedIn Ads Show, where he brings energy and excitement to the topic of LinkedIn Ads.

Bonus: Conferences

Paid search and search industry conferences happen nearly year-round. While they don’t happen frequently enough to be the only source of PPC news, they’re still a great place to hear about the latest updates in depth.

  • The SMX conference series, hosted by Third Door Media, is one of my favorites. (Disclosure: I’m on the SMX programming committee.)
  • Pubcon hosts events across the U.S. with a PPC track and great speakers.
  • Brighton SEO is probably the best-known search conference in the UK. In November, they’re bringing the show to San Diego for the first time. There are always great PPC sessions at this conference.
  • PPC Live UK, founded by Anu Adegbola, hosts regular networking events for PPC pros in London. 

The Paid Search Association also puts on conferences and webinars on newsworthy topics.

Hopefully, you’ve found some new places to get the latest PPC news. Time to start reading, listening and engaging! 

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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