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How to Stay Up-to-Date with PPC Trends & Industry Updates


It is very easy to stagnate in the Paid Search industry, to know the platform inside and out, to achieve a performance that overachieves your or your clients KPIs, and to rest on your laurels implementing the same tactics for all your clients or accounts and be happy that you’ve achieved Paid Search greatness. And I applaud you if that’s you – but that’s not me.

With a landscape that shifts regularly and is impacted by our advertising and PR peers’ actions or outside influence – it is super important to have an eye on what is happening in the industry, outside the industry and in your or your client’s industry.

Why is it important to stay updated with Paid Search trends and updates?

Because quite frankly, if you find this hard to hear, someone might be doing it better.

Or at least differently. And one of the great things about the Paid Search community is that we mostly love learning from each other.

You can learn from this – test it out on your account (within parameters), and it might work. It might change your best practice direction (which should be under regular review). It might improve your KPIs. It might explain a performance question you have been unable to solve. Additionally, Google and Microsoft are forever (it feels like anyway) changing things, and sometimes, those things aren’t in Paid Search:

  • Structured Snippets in SEO introduced: did you see a decrease in traffic? That’s

probably because users got answers to their questions without even clicking on an ad or organic listing.

  • Co-pilot in Bing: I am still watching this one for impact (will there be one?)

Additionally, how upper funnel ads are shown to the audience and how you’re ready to capture them could also impact paid search performance. It pays to be aware of these changes, especially if you know your client has their upper funnel advertising placed elsewhere. For example, Connected TV ads with QR codes—those users don’t even need to come to search now. Is your client using these? Have you seen Brand traffic decrease since it was implemented?

Lastly, look outside of the paid search, digital, and advertising industry and keep an eye on your clients (or your) industry. You’ll learn what competitors are doing, pressures and success. Having this knowledge doesn’t seem like you can do much with it, but don’t forget that Paid Seach is demand capture – if you learn from an industry blog that a competitor is launching a new range that will directly compete with your product range, you can future proof your accounts. Be one step ahead of the auction insights for your reporting and KPIs.

In essence, keeping up to date with trends and changes to the Search platforms means better performance for you or your clients, or at least being ready to test, to be able to talk through why changes may have impacted paid search.

How do you stay current with trends and changes in Paid Search and beyond?

This is by no means a conclusive list. And please tell me if you see some glaring gaps; despite being in the industry for almost a whole generation in years (gulp), I am still learning from others, and this is where I turn to the most:

PPC Live – need I say more? If you’re new here, get involved. Kindness and criticalthoughts are welcome. Think with Google – I am not ‘do exactly as Google says, and you will see success.’ kind of person, but it is good to know what they see and talk about. I recommend signing up for the newsletter, at the very least.

Google Ads Blog – see above.

Microsoft Ads blog – Paid Search is the only time Microsoft is an underdog, but sometimes they do things differently.

Reddit r/PPC is still an excellent place to turn.

Keyword trends – despite my fear of losing search queries forever, this is still a validplace to turn; you have your keyword trends in the platform, keyword trends at a more holistic level so that you can jump on trending searches; same for Pinterest and TikTok. Alsoasked is another excellent resource to look at trending questions your product or service might have the answer to.

LinkedIn – Find your favourite PPCers, follow them and learn from them. Also, it is a great place to follow your or your client’s other advertising, PR and industry experts. Ginny

Marvin is (now) a Google Ads Product Liaison, and often, Google Ad updates come through her announcements first or with added commentary; I recommend following Ginny for quick updates. This is the only social platform I will recommend today; please let me know if others have helpful updates.

Other agency blogs – this is a bold one, and you will have to learn the hard way which agencies are saying the right thing to win clients and which apply critical thought and align with your way of delivering success to clients.

YouTube is an excellent resource for opinions and how-to guides. Much like agency blogs, learn which ones align with you.

Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Watch are still remarkable hives of updates and history. You can’t explain if you have seen a dip in unexplained performance. Could an SEO update or a change in Platform delivery have impacted your performance?

Events – PPC Live, Brighton SEO Manchester Ecommerce, etc. Get listening to your peers and learn from them.

The ASA – the independent advertising regulator- should not be ignored; it pays to know the rules for you or your clients. The internet can feel like anything goes, but it really shouldn’t. Use it as a resource and guide; you can also look at recent and historic rulings.

Your peers and colleagues – I’m lucky to work at a full-service agency with creative, PR, social and SEO – knowing their industry changes can help support my clients. If you or your clients have their SEO elsewhere, for example, make friends – their work will impact yours.
Industry blogs relevant to you or your client – to keep current with what the industry is facing. Ask your clients or your business development/sales team what they read and get involved. I haven’t recommended any podcasts, and despite feeling like I live and breathe Paid Search podcasts for me live in the ‘not work related’ space. There are loads out there, though, and if this is an excellent way for you to learn, then go for it.


Trends will affect your performance – these could be because of changes in the platform, in the wider digital or traditional marketing industry or beyond. Your knowledge and continued growth of knowledge will help not only your own Paid Search success but also your clients. Have fun, and let me know of any resources I missed; I’d love to know.

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