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.


The Highest Quality Score is not Always the Best Quality Score

The Highest Quality Score is not Always the Best Quality Score

The formula for AdRank is so simple that it's surprising how frequently, and grievously, people can sometimes get it wrong. The purpose of economic activity is to maximize profit, not Quality Score. So, when the two are in conflict, choose the lower QS. [...more]

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Keywords Are Not Stocks

Keywords Are Not Stocks

Since it seems almost trite to say this, I'm not certain why it doesn't appear to have been said before: "Keywords are not stocks." But listening to many firms in the SEM industry one would think that bidding on keywords on Google is governed by the same rules as buying shares of Google, Inc. itself. [...more]

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Behind the Scenes of ‘Google AdWords Bidding Tutorial’, Part 2

Behind the Scenes of ‘Google AdWords Bidding Tutorial’, Part 2

In part 2 of this post, Bradd provides a simple, visual means for determining your optimal bid from Google’s Bid Simulator. Then, uses some straightforward math to show you how to calculate the optimal bid (and CPA and ROI) for Dr. Varian's example of online retailer selling digital cameras. [...more]

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Optimal Bidding, Part 1: Behind the Scenes of ‘Google AdWords Bidding Tutorial’

Optimal Bidding, Part 1: Behind the Scenes of ‘Google AdWords Bidding Tutorial’

Dr. Hal Varian produced a Google AdWords bidding tutorial in which he outlines a 4-step process for determining your optimal bidding strategy. The video includes a number of best practices for any PPC manager to follow, but also leaves out critical information and makes numerous simplifications. Bradd has identified the best practices and limitations from Dr. Varian's tutorial and translates this insight into actionable tactics to improve your campaign performance. [...more]

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Rounding the CPA Horn

Rounding the CPA Horn

Like the great navies of historic Europe, every manager of a PPC account has the same basic goals: Glory, Profit, Praise and Power. But to get these you need a map and one of the best I know, relative the the amount of work involved, is also one of the simplest. [...more]

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Position 1 Does Not Necessarily Imply Maximum Impressions

Position 1 Does Not Necessarily Imply Maximum Impressions

Google doesn't shout it from the mountaintops, but not every search results in an impression for a qualified ad, even if that ad averages placement in the first position. To maximize your impressions, you need to crank your bids up to 11. [...more]

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Why is Clickthrough Rate the Main Factor in Quality Score?

Why is Clickthrough Rate the Main Factor in Quality Score?

Google makes it clear that an ad's clickthrough rate (CTR) is the primary component of its Quality Score (QS). But one question which search marketers frequently overlook (and one for which Google has offered only a superficial answer) is: Why? [...more]

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Modeling Clickthrough Probabilities

Modeling Clickthrough Probabilities

Good account management requires a good understanding of the relationship between the clickthrough rate (CTR) for a given ad and that ad's average position. Fortunately, Google's Bid Simulator is lending a helping hand. [...more]

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Everything I Need to Know About PageRank I Learned in Kindergarten

Everything I Need to Know About PageRank I Learned in Kindergarten

The comedian Groucho Marx once said of PageRank: "This is so simple a four-year-old child could understand it...Quick! Somebody get me a four-year-old child!" OK, perhaps he wasn't talking about PageRank, but he easily could have been, because PageRank is so simple that any four-year-old could figure it out. [...more]

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Google, Can You Hear Me Now?

Google, Can You Hear Me Now?

What does the #1 search engine have in common with an unknown manufacturer of earplugs? Absolutely nothing when it comes to measuring standard deviation of key metrics. How could this data improve the performance of your AdWords campaigns? Bradd considers the possibilities. [...more]

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Cost per Acquisition (CPA) is a Funny Beast

Cost per Acquisition (CPA) is a Funny Beast

If you manage bids on search engine ad auctions, you probably spend a lot of time puzzling over spreadsheets looking for opportunities to improve your account's Cost per Acquisition (CPA). But CPA is a funny beast and if you don't know how funny it can act (even in the best of times), you might be wasting some of your effort. [...more]

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Average Position is a Really Perverse Metric

Average Position is a Really Perverse Metric

Average position is a really perverse metric.  Let's say that I have only 2 keywords in an account, each with one ad: On Day 1, ad #1 is in position 2 and gets 100 impressions per day, while ad #2 is in position 9 and gets 10 impressions per day.  The account's average position on […] [...more]

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