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What's Happened in the PPC World During Q1?


The wonderful world of Pay Per Click (PPC) is an everchanging one, and one it’s important we keep up to date with. Luckily for us, PPC Manager Rachel is on hand to give us the low-down…

Well, the first quarter of the year has been a busy one for PPC! There have been several little updates here and there, but I want to go through the top three that I think are key to understand.

Increase in pressure to auto apply Google recommendations

This has been the bane of many PPCer’s lives recently when they introduced a percentage score that would sit alongside your campaigns, which you could ultimately dismiss and feedback as to why. Whilst I get what Google are trying to do, I think the algorithm has a long way to go. As any seasoned PPCer will know, every single account has a very different strategy and there isn’t a “one rule fits” all kind of approach. Google listened to the feedback and have since announced that you can dismiss their recommendations and it now won’t affect your performance score when they assess your account for Partner status. However, I think they will still keep coming back, and dismissing anything irrelevant will unfortunately become a standard piece of admin.

Partner Updates

This leads me quite nicely on to another Partner Programme update. Before the world went a bit funny (#pandemic), Google had announced some massive changes to how they measure agencies for Partner status. The performance measurement system was ultimately flawed though, because it said that you needed 50% of account owners to have their Google exams. As an agency, we link our accounts up via our MCC (multi-client centre), which is best practice, however a linked account can have more than one manager i.e the business owner or marketing managers.

That meant we would have to have done 30 lots of 3 exams = 90, with a max exam time of 2 hours each on average which would potentially equal 180 hours’ worth of exam time just to maintain Partner status… #quickmaths not feasible.

PPCers went a bit bonkers on Twitter, and Google, despite pushing back the deadline because of said pandemic, finally announced at the end of February that you could tell Google how many managers your agency had, thus (look, Mum, I used “thus”!), shaving a fair few hours of exam time. Here is how you do it:

  • Log into your MCC
  • Go to Partners Programme tab bottom right and edit how many PPCers you actually have.

You’re welcome.

Broad Match

Perhaps a more controversial update is Google more or less making Broad Match Modifier (BMM) defunct, phasing in from February this year.

Many, many moons ago, when I was a fresh faced PPCer, your three main keyword match types were broad, phrase and exact. Then came in something called BMM where you could ultimately have more control over broad keywords whilst still reaching new customers, but without letting Google run away with themselves. BMM became the standard, whilst broad match was still available to use, it was used much more sparsely. Word on the street was that Phrase was going to be pointless, and quite a few marketers stopped using Phrase, but I wasn’t so sure…

Now Phrase is going to pretty much follow the same behaviours as BMM keywords, ergo (look Mum! Another fancy word) flipping the proverbial table on its head and actually making BMM defunct, not Phrase, and bringing back good old Broad match to the table.

I am keen to see any results, good or bad, that you have seen with re-introducing Broad match, so let me know on Twitter!