The Big List of Paid Search Educational Resources

Ready to learn more about paid search? Half the battle is figuring out where to look and whom to read. To make it a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of events you can attend in person, as well as sources we trust and recommend online. Enjoy!

In-Person Paid Search Learning

No matter where you are in the world, paid search educational resources are available with communities and events:

ClickZ Live/SES

Formerly SES Conference & Expo (though that has branched off again to offer PPC learning, too), ClickZ Live is hosted by the same folks that operate and is led by the industry’s leading thinkers and practitioners.

The event is targeted to holistic digital marketing and addresses the fast pace of change. ClickZ Live takes place throughout the year in cities including Toronto, Atlanta, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Chicago, New York and Jakarta.

ClickZ Live Ad


The Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association uses education, networking and the promotion of SEM to support North Texas businesses and marketing professionals. Meetings take place throughout the year in various area locations, with the annual November State of Search Conference delving into PPC, among other topics like SEO, social media and more.

Hero Conf

The Hero Conf is strictly dedicated to PPC and paid search topics and is where speakers and attendees discuss the strategies and future of online advertising. Created by Hanapin Marketing – the people who run the PPC Hero blog – Hero Conf boasts a 5:1 attendee to speaker ratio, and emphasizes networking opportunities.

Typically, Hero Conf is an April event in the United States (Portland, Austin, Indianapolis), though the first London event takes place this October.

Hero Conf Ad


Search Engine Marketing New England (SEMNE) is a regional community of search marketers (I co-founded it along with Jill Whalen back in 2006). The group ensures six annual gatherings where members hear about industry developments and network with other professionals. Events take place in varying New England locations and cover a range of SEM topics with leading industry thinkers.


As a source for local professionals and businesses, SEMpdx is a Portland, Ore., organization designed to establish the city as a search engine marketing hub. A board of directors, all of whom have experience in digital marketing and communications, runs the organization. SEMpdx hosts events throughout the year, including the SearchFest search and social media marketing conference in February.


The SMX (Search Marketing Expo) event is led by Third Door Media, which also operates and At this event, you can bet they’ll have tracks dedicated specifically to paid search, as well as other areas of Web marketing.

Here, you can discuss trends, learn new developments, network with industry peers and more. SMX happens throughout the year in locations including Las Vegas, New York City, Seattle, San Jose, London, Milan, Munich, Paris, Sydney and Jerusalem.

Online Paid Search Training

Looking to learn paid search in the comfort of your own home or office? Plenty of sources offer online education and certification from industry leaders through training, blogs and videos:

Market Motive

With courses in PPC and display in addition to SEO, analytics, social media, content, conversion and mobile, Market Motive is designed for both individual learning and groups. The PPC topics covered and delivered by the likes of Brad Geddes include keyword introductions, settings, account organization, quality score, testing and landing page strategy, conversion tracking, bidding and reporting, effective ad writing and more.

Online Marketing Institute

At the Online Marketing Institute (OMI), it’s all about digital marketing. A subscription gets you access to hundreds of video classes, as well as a chance to secure the credentials you need. Search engine marketing topics fall under digital advertising and include courses on paid search, AdWords, mobile PPC and more.

Industry News and Information


At ClickZ you’ll find articles on all things digital marketing related. Paid search articles discuss the changes and trends within AdWords, Bing Ads and other platforms, and feature interesting insights of thought leaders like Page Zero Media president Andrew Goodman.

Search Engine Land

Search Engine Land is a daily publication looking at all aspects of the search marketing industry. Specific search engine marketing and PPC topics include how-to topics, buyer guides and industry news, as well as Google AdWords and Bing Ads announcements.

Search Engine Watch

Find tips and information about the search industry and how-to tips from industry thought leaders. Search Engine Watch provides PPC guides and updates about Bing Ads, Google AdWords and other PPC platforms and news.

Bing and Google Resources

Bing Ads Resources

Bing Ads offers support with a blog and help files. Explore how-to guides and advanced information, as well as updates on events and promotions.

Google AdWords

AdWords offers several places to stay connected online. The blog is full of major updates and tips, while the Google+ profile offers timely, less significant updates (and Hangouts on Air for learning).

The help center takes you from setup to analytics. The AdWords Community is a public forum without moderation where Google staff and users can ask questions and share information. For helpful videos, check out the Google AdWords YouTube channel.

Google Analytics Blog

While not specifically about paid search and PPC, the Google Analytics blog is a valuable resource full of info that can help PPC professionals better track their performance via Google Analytics. Here you’ll find help articles, a learning center and more.

Paid Search Agency Blogs


The KoMarketing blog is part of the company’s commitment to B2B business success. You’ll find a range of digital marketing topics in addition to a PPC checklist, keyword generator and other useful resources.

PPC Hero

Generated by the people of Hanapin Marketing, PPC Hero offers news stories, strategy tips and tool-specific content for PPC professionals. This is a great resource for beginners as well as more seasoned pros.


WordStream, founded by Larry Kim, continues to be leading voice in the industry. and its blog offer free educational resources on PPC basics and advanced strategies through books, webinars and more.


Last but not least, Barb Young’s blog at (Barb got me started in paid search and is a master mind of all things PPC).

So there you have it – the big list of paid search educational resources. No matter your level of expertise, location or budget, you have a place to keep learning and growing in the PPC field. And remember, Group Twenty Seven is always a great source for PPC tips and information on our blog and with my columns at Search Engine Land and Search Engine Watch.