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PPC | Your Old Paid Search Strategies Are Becoming Extinct: Try These Instead

Article by Jonathan Kagan. Relying on older PPC bid strategies and concepts may do more harm than good. Here are outdated approaches to avoid and some alternatives to try instead.

You know those good old paid search strategies – the ones we have always relied on, feel evergreen, and will never “go the way of Old Yeller”?

Well, the reality is, the bid strategies from as recent as 2018 often struggle to still remain valuable, cutting edge, and tip-top shape for today’s marketers.

Those who go back to the “O.G.” approaches to search, may find them sharing in the same levels of success and memory as operations like:

  • Yahoo Panama (never Overture, Overture was awesome).

  • ePilot.

  • 7Search.

  • Ask Sponsored Listings (see what happens when you ditch Jeeves?).

  • AOL Search Marketplace (remember when that was still a thing?).

  • Net-Net.

Relying on your older bid strategies and concepts may actually do more harm to your business than help.

So if you’re relying on some specific older strategies, this post will explain why they’re wrong, and offer some good alternatives to use.

So now, let’s dig in and potentially ruin some of the hard work you did three years ago and failed to update.

5 Bid Strategies & Approaches That Are No Longer Valid

Old Strategy 1: SEO Can Cover Brand, So I Can Stop Bidding on Brand Keywords

Response: No!


I hear this at least two times a year for the past 16 years.

Unless your name is Amazon or eBay, doing this method is not valid for your operation.

This goes back to the 1+1=3 model (paid search and SEO together on terms drive incrementality than SEO by itself).

Competitors will be there to divert your traffic if you aren’t there.

Being present allows you to customize messaging and the consumer path.


  • This is borderline insulting, but the alternative is: Bid on your brand keywords.

  • Couple it with a bid strategy to scale the value of it.

Old Strategy 2: Bid to Position

Response: Well, the original version is no longer capable since Google has deprecated the average position metric.


Average position literally went away in Google.

In Bing (I don’t care what they call it over at Microsoft, I am sick of their five name changes in 15 years, it will always be called “Bing” to me), the bid strategy does not exist


In Bing, you can try and do the old reverse calculation of competitors and set bids to a specific number manually (not recommended).

Most third-party management platforms (i.e., SA360) have a bid to impression share strategy you can use for Bing, or you could just do max clicks.

On the Google side, I recommend a target impression share bid strategy, with a focus on top of page or absolute top of page.

Side note: I personally do not like this approach, for me.

Unless it comes to competitor bidding and conquesting, I’ve found little value in battling for first or second position, since the end game CPC cut down on our ultimate efficiency (so buyer beware).

Find out the rest of the new bid strategies here Click here to learn more

PPC Consultant London, Google AdWords Consultant London, PPC Specialist London, AdWords Specialist London

Original article by Jonathan Kagan on

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