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Year in Search | Interview with Daniel Gilbert

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With the year coming to a close, PPC hubbub asked the leading search industry experts 3 questions about what they thought about 2018 and what 2019 might bring for Search. 

This week, Daniel Gilbert answered our questions.

Daniel Gilbert is founder and CEO of Brainlabs, a PPC agency and technology provider. As the self-proclaimed superhero of PPC, Daniel’s mission is to change the future of advertising, whilst creating the best place in the world to work.

Q: What have you loved about Search this year?

“This year, paid search has kept growing by no less than 10% in the UK (up to £6.2 billion spend in the UK), and has seen an impressive number of innovations at an exceptional speed. In-market audiences is a prime example of the potential of tech. But let’s not forget the less flashy yet important updates, like the continuous improvement of reporting tools and insights. And even zooming out of the Google sphere, there’s the growth of other players – like Amazon – to consider, expanding the possibilities for all of us in this space.

Paid search has truly prevailed in enabling agencies to deliver remarkable results to their clients, and has continued to set the standard for transparency. All while letting users control exactly what they want – what ads say, where to show them, for how much, and how often.

No wonder it keeps growing every year. Search is keeping the digital momentum going, and has proven that advertising is about brainpower, not buying power.”

Q: What have you hated about Search this year?

“As much as I love automation and tech, I would say there is a worrying trend of over-reliance on ‘dynamic’ tools, like dynamic search ads, and Google taking control away from account managers. Case in point, their latest update to exact match. That’s not to say that their machine learning isn’t impressive, but they’re messing with things that didn’t need any fixing in the first place, and encouraging managers to use tools that don’t always perform that well. Human-managed accounts, with the right balance of automation, still have the advantage. So master the basics and keep adapting your skills going forward.”

Q: What do you think 2019 will bring?

“2019 is going to be an RoI-focused year. Following economic uncertainty, brands are going to be prioritising the bottom line, and will want to see results above all. Budgets will be allocated to the platforms (whether it be Google or rising stars like Amazon) and specialists that can drive sales. This is good news for everyone in paid search. So, remember those conversions, and keep optimising!

And despite the conversation around privacy, personalisation isn’t going anywhere – it’s only going to keep improving. We’ll see this in mobile search especially (e.g. local personalised offers, offline integration). I also hope to see attribution improving, but it will be a slow process.

P.S.: Don’t hold your breath for voice search.”

Daniel Gilbert
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