Our Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts List: The Methodology

A week has passed since we posted our list of Top 25 Most Influential PPC experts, and we wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who has engaged with this post! The general purpose of “best of” lists is to generate conversation among our peers, and that’s exactly what happened. Because this post generated such response, we wanted to make sure we followed up to provide a little background information.

We decided to publish a Most Influential list based on internal conversations going on at the PPC Hero and Hanapin Marketing office as well as to help those PPC newbies getting their feet wet who could benefit from hubs of information. Through internal brainstorming and looking through industry events’ speaker lists, we settled on a list of 109 experts to begin researching.

For each expert on the initial list, we looked into the following categories:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Google +
  • Klout
  • YouTube
  • Website(s)
  • Blog(s)
  • Speaking engagements
  • Organic rankings

We didn’t just look at number of followers, likes, etc. But also at the amount of engagement and PPC content being shared with each network. Thus, someone could have 500+ LinkedIn connections, but they wouldn’t score as high as someone with 500 LinkedIn connections and sharing PPC content. Also, this means that someone could be a vital part of PPC’s evolution, but if they are not active today, especially in social networks, they also wouldn’t have scored as high. (On a related note, PPC Associates ran a tournament recently in which readers voted for the most influential SEM expert. PPC creator Bill Gross didn’t even make it out of the first round!)

This being our first year with the research, we knew we’d need feedback to make this a successful project in years to come. So, as we plan for next year, we want to make sure we are tweaking where needed. Next year, we will post our initial list publicly in advance for everyone to have a chance to suggest additions and to give props to those who are important to the industry but might not make the Top 25. This will be more like our “Who’s Who of Paid Search” before we determine a Top 25. We are also considering weighting of categories, so someone’s Twitter engagement would mean more than Google+.

That being said, we will be posting a new Top 25 next June. Until then, we are always open to hearing your thoughts; please feel free to contact us with suggestions!