It’s that time again, PPC Heroes.

As most readers know, every summer we release our list of the Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts for that yearit’s a nice way to honor some of the hardest workers in our tight-knit community.

This year’s list has already generated far more interest than in previous years. More than three times as many people voted for or nominated their favorite expert this year compared to last year!

Of course, voting is only one part of the complex, mostly boring (but fun for us!) formula that goes into calculating what makes someone truly influential in our industry. We’ll go into significant detail describing how we calculated the rankings below the graphic, but the quick and dirty versions is: We stayed true to the formula from last year, plus added a metric for Social Impact (so we’re measuring more than just follower counts).

We had quite a few movers and shakers from last year! Some very big names are missing from the list, which we’ll explain below, but also we saw lots of shuffling among the entire 25. The competition for being one of the most influential experts in the PPC industry is fierce!

But enough preamble. Let’s get to it, shall we?

The Official Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts:

Please note: As always, employees of Hanapin Marketing, the creators, owners, and writers of PPC Hero, are not eligible for this list. 

PPC Hero's Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts 2014 Infographic

The Results

The list was created based on our custom “Influence Score” ranking, which takes no fewer than ten different metrics into consideration.

It’s always a close race for who will be at the “top,” but you can see there were incredibly small Influence Score margins throughout the entire list–typically only a few points decide where a particular PPC expert is ranked.

This year, we were exceptionally mindful in limiting the list to purely PPC experts, so while you might notice certain highly influential individuals are not included, even compared to last year, we assure you it’s because we’re keeping it 100% PPC geeks only (and not because we don’t think they’re experts or just plain cool people).

And who knows. Maybe those experts will end up on a different list one day…

Moving on. As mentioned, we stayed pretty close to the methodology used in past years, for obvious reasons. We did tweak a few things, chief among them adding a metric for Social Impact. It’s become clear that fans and followers are not what makes an expert influential. It’s also how those communities interact and react to the expert.

To learn more, read about our methodology below.

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 experts.

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

  • Social Influence
    Followers, fans, circles, etc.
  • Traditional Influence
    Speaking engagements, books, blog posts (both frequency and variety of sites), 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!

Let me explain Social Impact a little more. The entire point of it is to discover who is truly influencing their social community, and thereby the digital advertising industry as a whole. Using multifaceted influence trackers like Social Authority by Moz (our favorite), it’s easier than ever to see who is engaging, conversing with, and generating responses from their communities.

We thought it was vital for the Top 25 list to add metrics like these to our overall formula. Followers might be a dime a dozen (sometimes literally), but evoking a response is priceless. Someone who is constantly impacting their followers is an influencer, whether they have 200 followers or 20,000 followers.

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.

Leave a comment below with any questions, kudos, congratulations, complaints or commentary.

Tweet @PPCHero or @Hanapin with your thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Mail us a letter with a picture of your face reacting to the list.

We want to hear it all!

Read More About the Leading PPC Experts: