SEM’s legit: Our top paid search columns of 2016

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This was an eventful year for those in the paid search community as Google introduced some significant updates to the way ads are displayed in SERPs. Thankfully, as search marketers scrambled to keep up with the seemingly endless barrage of changes, our insightful paid search columnists were there to help them make sense of it all.

By far the most discussed event of the year was when Google removed the right rail ads from desktop search results in an effort to make the layout more consistent with its mobile SERPs. Four of our ten most widely read articles of the year were focused on this change, including a two data-driven pieces by PPC expert Larry Kim and an article from Google’s own Director of Performance Ads Marketing, Matt Lawson.

The other major news item for the year was Google’s announcement of expanded text ads, which officially went live in July. While many columns were written about this change, Frederick Vallaeys’ piece was the one that stood out and made it into our top ten stories of the year.

What other topics resonated with search engine marketers in 2016? Check out our top ten paid search columns to find out:

  1. Google’s New SERP Layout: The Biggest Winners & Losers by Larry Kim, published on 2/24/2016.
    Social activity: Facebook 751, Google+ 196, LinkedIn 1234
  2. Google’s Take On The Recent Changes To The Results Page by Matt Lawson, published on 3/2/2016.
    Social activity: Facebook 627, Google+ 168, LinkedIn 944
  3. Google’s right-side Adpocalypse: What really happened (DATA) by Larry Kim, published on 3/21/2016.
    Social activity: Facebook 2129, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 888
  4. Reverse-engineering AdWords Quality Score factors by Brad Geddes, published on 3/9/2016.
    Social activity: Facebook 527, Google+ 63, LinkedIn 818
  5. How to get the old Google Keyword Planner volume data by Patrick Stox, published on 8/4/2016.
    Social activity: Facebook 479, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 422
  6. The 5 strangest search terms in 2,000+ AdWords accounts by Jacob Baadsgaard, published on 5/26/2016.
    Social activity: Facebook 474, Google+ 98, LinkedIn 591
  7. 10 ways to get ready for the new AdWords by Frederick Vallaeys, published on 6/8/2016.
    Social activity: Facebook 536, Google+ 0, LinkedIn 854
  8. 3 Google AdWords hacks to drive high-quality leads by Todd Saunders, published on 5/31/2016.
    Social activity: Facebook 496, Google+ 153, LinkedIn 735
  9. What Google’s New Layout Means For Search Marketers by Alistair Dent, published on 2/23/2016.
    Social activity: Facebook 742, Google+ 178, LinkedIn 794
  10. New benchmarks: Google AdWords cost per acquisition across 20 industries [study] by Larry Kim, published on 3/23/2016.
    Social activity: Facebook 1150, Google+ 78, LinkedIn 558

Methodology: Columns published in 2016 are ranked in order of pageviews measured by Google Analytics. Data includes all columns published through November 30, 2016. Social data provided by SharedCount

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