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The Past, Present, and Future of Paid Search David Szetela

David Szetela, industry veteran, PPC expert, and Owner of FMB Media, joins us to discuss the past, present, and future of paid search; David’s history of working with Apple including some very memorable presentations; why offices should be optional; the fundamental mistakes he has seen in his accounts; the new Google branding; and the ins and outs of running both small and large agencies.


[3:59] David got a Master’s Degree in Flavor Chemistry but discovered his calling was in the world of computer science instead of inventing more food additives and flavoring. In 1981, he quit grad school 6 months before getting his Ph.D. to get into the personal computer industry at a time when the IBM PC was released. At that time, Apple was a small company and doing close to $500,000 in sales. David later got a job working for Computer Magazine for several years, which then led to his job as Manager of the Evangelism Department at Apple.

[6:49] The median age at Apple was even lower than at Google now, making David “seasoned management” at the ripe age of 31 years old.

[8:58] David developed the World Wide Developer Conference, still very well known in the personal computer industry and the model for open discussion within the industry. David tells a story combining cutting-edge technology and meeting famous author and scriptwriter (and Mac user) Douglas Adams.

[21:46] We discuss the fundamental mistakes people make in paid search, including running outdated campaigns and ads in geographic targeted regions other than where the customer database is located. Google has a default setting to show the campaigns in the template settings, so be sure to go in and curtail it to your specific location. Another is when people simply copy an entire search campaign, using the keywords for a display campaign that may copy over negative search words and block areas that would otherwise be beneficial for the ad to run.

[30:01] It behooves every PPC advertiser to understand when to use display advertising vs. search.

[34:09] David defines performance criteria and compensation formulas, which typically include revenue from dollars, a lead form, or a phone call. The assumption has to be that if you are paying for paid performance, the fee structure has to reflect the risk you are taking on.

[41:22] About half of David’s clients are in a paid percentage of spend model.

[44:34] We discuss the staffing model, how much time it takes to educate people, and why we look for independents.

[48:16] David’s experience of having full-time staff work remotely has worked out great and he believes offices should be optional.

[51:42] It’s easy to pitch against a large agency. Oftentimes large agencies will promise staff they don’t have yet or move their staff away to another account. We discuss the important things to look at when hiring an agency, and the top errors people make in the strategy realm.