The time has come again Heroes! After a month of voting, rigorous research and data analysis, we are excited to announce the wildly anticipated list of the Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts for 2016. We release our newest edition of the Top 25 every summer—it’s a nice way to honor some of the hardest workers in our tight-knit community.

We also included the Top Rising Stars in PPC again this year, after a lot of positive feedback. We asked our readers to submit the names of PPCers just starting to burst onto the scene and destined to become an influencer. Some of last year’s “Rising Stars” made it onto the Top 25 list this year! I wonder who will make the list next year??

Voting is only one part of the complex formula that goes into calculating what makes someone truly influential in our industry. We’ll go into more detail describing how we arrived at the rankings, but the quick and dirty version is: We measured Vote Totals, Social Impact, and Traditional Influence for each person that received a vote. The scores took into account only what someone has done within the last year to truly stay up-to-date as an influential expert.

You’ll notice that while there are still some movers and shakers from past years, there were a lot of shakeups. Some people have really been hitting the speaking scene hard this past year! We’ll explain more below the graphic, but we saw lots of shuffling among the entire 25. The competition for being one of the most influential experts in the PPC industry is as always, a fierce one!

Also, here’s something else worth noting. In the past, we’ve deemed employees of Hanapin, the creators, owners, and writers of PPC Hero, not eligible for this list. However, this year, we decided to go ahead and score any of our employees that received votes (by the readers of course!) like any other candidate. We were delighted to see that we had a couple of Hanapin experts that would have ended up on the list. You’ll see these employees included as our “Honorable Mentions.” For the Rising Star list, we included anyone that scored in the top five of this list, including Hanapin employees.

Without further ado, let’s see the list!

The Official 2016 Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts


The Results

Like last year, we gave readers complete freedom to write in who they thought were influential experts (and rising stars!). We, of course, saw the usual suspects, but were also introduced to some new folks on the scene, both in the US and throughout the world.

This also meant that if an expert didn’t get voted in, they weren’t included in the process for rankings (so, every vote counts!). We stayed mindful in limiting the list to purely PPC experts.

The Methodology

All metrics are normalized into a standard scale so that they can be compared and tallied using the same rubric. Some of the measurements we list below sound a little like apples and oranges, but we used a weighting and normalization scheme specifically to ensure that no single thing created a bias for any particular PPC expert.

The metrics we measured can be roughly defined as belonging to three categories:

  • Traditional Influence
    Speaking engagements, books, blog posts, webinars, podcasts (both frequency and variety of sites/conferences), etc.
  • Social Impact
    Influence measurement using tools like Moz’s awesome Social Authority metric.
  • Vote Totals
    The votes, nominations and enthusiasm of you, the PPC community!

All metrics were based on what the individual has done within the past year (June 2015 – June 2016). If they wrote a book in September 2015, they got extra points for that, but if the last time they wrote a book was in February 2013, no extra points were added. The same went for speaking engagements and blog posts. We felt this truly measured the impact of an influencer, by making sure all efforts were up-to-date and we weren’t accounting for activities that had taken place more than two years ago.

There is plenty of room for debate (we have certainly learned that much), but we always do our very best to ensure that the scores are objective and that they rely on actual data, not opinion. The list is crafted from a 1:1 comparison of the numbers in our formula, and nothing more.

The Reaction

We want to hear from you!

Love the list? Tell your friends! Hate the list? Tell your friends! But most importantly: Tell us.

Tweet @PPCHero with your thoughts, feelings and emotions. We want to hear it all!

Past Top 25 Lists:

The Top 25 PPC Experts of 2015
The Top 25 PPC Experts of 2014
The Top 25 CRO Experts of 2014
The Top 25 PPC Experts of 2013
The Top 25 PPC Experts of 2012
Do PPC Experts Even Exist?
Should Every PPC Expert Know CRO?