Bradd Libby

Website: http://www.thesearchagency.com/

Bradd easily becomes obsessed with small details. He can barely make it through a conversation without drawing a graph of something. He lives in the woods on the side of a hill in Norway. Bradd doesn't willingly wear shoes. He makes maps of places that don't exist. He picks up small shiny things he finds on the ground. He devolves into violent shouting matches with himself. He takes things apart to find out how they work but then can't figure out how to put them back together again. He also writes at Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and his personal blog.


AdWords Position Preference is Dying. Good Riddance.

AdWords Position Preference is Dying. Good Riddance.

Google is retiring the 'position preference' feature in AdWords. Bradd explains why search marketers shouldn't worry about average position in the first place. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (6)

Is Google Exploiting Neuromarketing in Reporting Quality Scores?

Is Google Exploiting Neuromarketing in Reporting Quality Scores?

I've got a mystery to solve: Quality Scores of 8 and 9 are very rare. But it hasn't always been that way. And that might be because Google is using basic psychology to cause you to focus your time on AdWords. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (15)

Does Google Reward High Quality Scores with More Impressions?

Does Google Reward High Quality Scores with More Impressions?

Experienced search marketers know AdWords rewards a high Quality Score with more Impressions and punishes a low QS with fewer. Or, maybe they don't. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (6)

Like a Rock: The ‘Bid-CPC’ Relationship

Like a Rock: The ‘Bid-CPC’ Relationship

The 'bid-CPC' relationship in pay-per-click advertising is very stable over the period of months, despite holidays and major changes to Google's algorithms and user interface. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (1)

From Business Intelligence to Bathtub Insights

From Business Intelligence to Bathtub Insights

Using online marketing data to answer wider questions about your industry is part of the domain of "business intelligence". But doing so requires an understanding of the mechanics driving your business. Without that, it is easy to get lost in the numbers. [...more]

Analytics, Featured Comments (0)

Google’s New “Automated Rules”

Google’s New “Automated Rules”

If you’re looking for some joy from your AdWords accounts this holiday season and beyond, Google’s new “Automated Rules” tool might only makes things worse. [...more]

Featured, News, SEM Comments (1)

Braking the Rules

Braking the Rules

Whether written out in computer code or just rattling around inside people's heads, many PPC account managers like to use rules to help guide their bidding decisions. But it's very easy to create rules that do more harm than good. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (6)

Google Rich Snippets for Shopping Sites: A New Dilemma

Google Rich Snippets for Shopping Sites: A New Dilemma

A new modification of Google's organic search results risks catching online retailers between a rock, a hard place and, as it turns out, another hard place. [...more]

Featured, Feeds, SEO Comments (1)

Quality Score Never Shined My Shoes

Quality Score Never Shined My Shoes

Many advertisers worry about how to improve the Quality Score of their ads. But it turns out that it is in Google's best interest to ensure that the actions advertisers take have as little impact as possible. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (5)

Ad Auctions are Not Auctions

Ad Auctions are Not Auctions

Search engines claim their paid search advertising systems are auction-based, but here are 10 good ways bidding for PPC ad space is more like an iterated negotiation than an auction. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (4)

Betting on the Weak Horse

Betting on the Weak Horse

Osama bin Laden said: "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse." But in sponsored search advertising, betting on the weak horse can sometimes bring a larger payout. [...more]

SEM Comments (0)

Search Marketing Advice from Machiavelli

Search Marketing Advice from Machiavelli

Machiavelli's writing holds useful advice for the modern digital marketer. In this post, Bradd shows how maximizing one's relative benefit, rather than absolute profit, might lead to better long-term results. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (4)

The Pareto Ad Spend Rules

The Pareto Ad Spend Rules

The 'Pareto Principle' (also called the '80/20 Rule') is often seen, in principle, in paid search marketing performance data. However, in practice, the story is not quite that simple. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (2)

SEJ Article: ‘Intermediate Microeconomics for Google’

SEJ Article: ‘Intermediate Microeconomics for Google’

In a recently released report, Google estimated their economic impact on the US in 2009 to be $54 Billion. But estimating Google's impact might not be as straightforward as it sounds. To find out more, check out my article at Search Engine Journal. [...more]

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Congratulations to All in the Trading Agent Competition

Congratulations to All in the Trading Agent Competition

Another brilliant victory for Dr. David Pardoe of the University of Texas and a nail-biting finish for second place marked the second Ad Auction game at the Trading Agent Competition last week. [...more]

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Dirty Little Secrets of Portfolio Theory

Dirty Little Secrets of Portfolio Theory

Several search marketing firms claim to have based their account management technology on Modern Portfolio Theory. But, there are problems with portfolio theory that could easily get online marketers into trouble if they take these companies at their word. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (8)

Wish Brown Luck at the Trading Agent Competition

Wish Brown Luck at the Trading Agent Competition

In the annual Trading Agent Competition, teams of computer science students spend months writing programs to compete against each other in a simulated marketplace. The 2009 competition was the first to include ad auctions of the sort which search marketers deal with on a daily basis. This year's field looks even stronger. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (2)

Attack of the Teenage Quality Scores

Attack of the Teenage Quality Scores

Unpredictable. Hyperactive. Irrational. And, potentially, very expensive. That's how a keyword's Quality Score (QS) can be like a teenager. Perhaps no single quantity in Google's AdWords system is more mysterious or misunderstood than Quality Score, and what you don't know about it can hurt your account. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (9)

Maximize Your CPC

Maximize Your CPC

Sometimes I hear pay-per-click advertising account managers say something like "My CPCs keep going up!" as if that's a bad thing. But one sign of the effectiveness of online marketing efforts is the degree to which they increase the observed Cost-per-Click. In this post, Bradd explains why. [...more]

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Some Google Bid Ideas are Google Bad Ideas

Some Google Bid Ideas are Google Bad Ideas

Even for words that get many clicks and conversions, updating bids can be nerve-wracking. Google is offering a new feature called 'Keyword Bid Ideas' to help alleviate some of the fear, uncertainty and doubt. But a closer examination reveals that some of their recommendations might contribute to the very problems they are trying to relieve. [...more]

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Search Engine Land article: “Statistical Significance”

Search Engine Land article: “Statistical Significance”

Math is rapidly becoming part of the mainstream in search marketing, but some popular tools for assessing A/B tests give erroneous results. To find out which ones, check out my article at Search Engine Land. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (0)

How to Calculate Profit-Maximizing ROI

How to Calculate Profit-Maximizing ROI

George Michie wrote that when choosing between a given budget limit or a given ROI target, he has "always believed that the ROI target should take precedence." But which value of ROI should you target? [...more]

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Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Unitary Hermeneutics of Search Marketing

Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Unitary Hermeneutics of Search Marketing

Search marketers often attempt to either maximize their conversion volume within a given maximum budget or within a given minimum efficiency limit. In fact, these are effectively the same thing. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (2)

Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

Often only a few ads will be shown on a search query that seems like it should have many ads. Google claims that reason for this is because they only show ads with high 'relevance'. The real reason, though, is much simpler. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (8)

The ‘Drake Equation’ of Search Marketing

The ‘Drake Equation’ of Search Marketing

In the early 1960’s astronomer Frank Drake devised an equation to estimate the number of intelligent civilizations in our galaxy. By a similar method, we can find the leverage points to optimize our SEM and SEO efforts. [...more]

Consumer Experience, Featured, SEM, SEO Comments (1)

Search Engine Land Article: “Lessons from Google’s Own Paid Search Campaigns”

Search Engine Land Article: “Lessons from Google’s Own Paid Search Campaigns”

In my latest Search Engine Land article, I look at the text ads Google runs to see what lessons PPC managers can learn about writing "killer" ad copy. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (2)

Search Engine Land Article: “The Pitfalls of Budget-Constrained Bidding”

Search Engine Land Article: “The Pitfalls of Budget-Constrained Bidding”

Search Engine Land recently published my article entitled "The Pitfalls of Budget-Constrained Bidding", where I examine the downsides of both over- and underbidding on keywords. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (0)

The Pollution Effect

The Pollution Effect

Paid search advertisers are acutely aware of the dependence of click traffic levels on their ad's position. But recent changes to how Google apparently serves ads in search results on its own site might have a toxic effect across the board. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (5)

The Hidden Cost of Using Budget Limits

The Hidden Cost of Using Budget Limits

The major search engines offer budgeting features to help advertisers keep their ad spending within a specified limit and to help spread it evenly over time. But using these features can have a high hidden cost of which advertisers might not be aware. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (0)

The Values of a Click

The Values of a Click

Determining how much to bid in PPC advertising requires knowing the value of a click. But a click has several different values, some direct and some indirect, and they should each be taken properly into account to determine how much to bid on each keyword. [...more]

Featured, SEM Comments (3)

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