Exclusive Interview with London Keynoter Frederick Vallaeys

By Nate Hollander | @HeroConf | Senior Event Producer at Hanapin Marketing

Our agenda for Hero Conf London, 24-26 October, is nearly complete. And we’re very excited to introduce you to our Day 2 keynoter. Fred Vallaeys is the CEO of Optmyzr and was one of the first 500 employees at Google, where he helped grow the AdWords search marketing system and served as Google’s AdWords Evangelist, teaching advertisers about which Google products are best to support their marketing goals.


We had a chance to talk to Fred about his upcoming keynote session, Inside the AdWords Black Box With an Ex-Googler, and are excited to share the discussion.




Tell us about the presentation you’re working on for Hero Conf London.


For my keynote session on Tuesday, I want to teach people to think like a Googler because for me this has really helped my career. I plan to share anecdotes from my 10 years working at the headquarters in Mountain View to help people understand how the AdWords organization thinks and operates. I think that when people understand how Googlers think, it becomes much easier to predict what they will do next.


I’ll also share a bit about what’s going on in the Silicon Valley (where I live) because I think that helps people get context about the technology that is shaping our personal and professional lives and this can help us prepare for the next opportunity.


I’ll also touch on the future of our industry. With all the tools and automation we have available, it’s important for account managers to understand what they can do to position themselves to have a successful career in PPC.


What can attendees expect to take away and implement immediately?


  • Like with most presentations I give, expect to walk away with a few AdWords Scripts you’ll be able to copy-and-paste to get new insights into your accounts.
  • I was on the Quality Score team at Google for 7 years so you’ll definitely come away with a better understanding of how QS works.
  • And hopefully you’ll also come away with a few new ideas for how to manage AdWords accounts.


What would you describe as you biggest PPC mistake and what did you learn from it?


I have a few biggest mistakes:

  1. I was slow to understand the power of brand keywords when I ran some campaigns for a major brand in 2002. I spent a lot of effort to build volume on non-brand terms. Then I turned on the brand keyword and my campaign got huge results overnight. I wish I had experimented with branded keywords sooner.
  2. My second big mistake was when I translated the AdWords website into Dutch for Google. I decided to translate “Traffic Estimator” as “Verkeerschatter”. Dutch people tend to speak English really well and coming up with a weird name like that rather than sticking with the English term seems like a mistake in retrospect.
  3. I’ve made plenty of other mistakes along the way but that’s how we learn what works and what doesn’t. Usually when I make mistakes now, I try to build a new tool or script in Optmyzr so that others won’t make the same mistake. For example, see my recent script about bid modifiers. I used it to find a brand keyword that was bidding $120 after all bid modifiers were layered in. That was a shock and I’m sure others are unknowingly bidding this high too.


Do you have a blog post or a single piece you’ve written that best illustrates your point of view?

My point of view always evolves but leveraging the power of automation has always been a big theme and my very first post for PPC Hero illustrates this pretty well (check out all Fred’s PPC Hero posts here). I’m also proud of a post I did about Quality Score that I think opened the eyes of a lot of advertisers about how the system really works.


If you could have one super-power, what would it be and why?

I’d be the mad scientist who can clone people. I would clone myself so I could get more done and I would clone my team so Optmyzr could also do more. I think we all know it’s hard to hire great people so being able to make them on-demand would be a pretty awesome super power.



Join Fred and 39 additional PPC experts at London’s Only All-PPC Event. Hero Conf London is 24-26 October at etc.venues St Paul’s. Less than 100 seats remain, so act now!



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