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Is PPC Dead or Dying? Get me some AdRank STAT!

After 10 years as a digital marketing practitioner I have developed a number of pet peeves. One of these involves the occasional declaration of a particular traffic channel as dead or dying. This topic came up today during an informal group huddle amongst strategists here at Bridgeline. We all agreed that PPC was in fact not dead and was still an important part of the digital strategy mix.

Where and how do these narratives of impending doom get started? Usually, they take the form of articles or blog posts much like this one—intended to influence your point of view. These posts are usually accompanies by a scary headline “PPC is dead! Don’t fall behind!!” The writer then cites an incomplete trend to confirm the death of a traffic channel and follows up in subsequent paragraphs with descriptions of other traffic channels in which the author recommends you focus your efforts instead (usually an alternative the author claims expertise in). This begs the question: what is the real goal of those who claims that PPC or SEO is dead?

A quick Google search for “PPC is dead” unearths a variety of articles purporting PPC to be dead. Some of these articles date back to 2010. They will point to studies and analysis which seem to cement their claim. However, here we are in 2014 and paid search is alive and well; so much so that 72% of marketers intend to spend more on PPC in 2014 than in 2013. So who has it right…the yeas, or the nays? The simple truth is that both assertions are correct. Strategies change over time for PPC and SEO alike. So yes, digital strategies as you knew them in 2006 are dead. Business goals, click habits, budget allocations change all the time. However, traffic channels are perpetual.


Wow, such a fascinating article- thanks!


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