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AdWords Community Spotlight - Tommy Sands (aka "PPCBossman") & Surprise Guest

[ Edited ]
Google Employee
# 1
Google Employee

 


 

“One common trait that all of us TC’s share is our passion for Google and especially for AdWords. Additionally, we all embrace the sense of Community, enjoy helping others and love to give back.”

-Read here for more interesting facts about our own TC PPCBossman



 

Q: To start off, give us some background about yourself and how you got started with PPC - specifically AdWords.

 

A: After falling in love with the Internet (14.4k Dialup) as a young man, I knew that I wanted to be involved in  the web in some way. I began my career in internet marketing at an agency where I mostly focused on web development and database management. During my first few months in this role, my passion for everything “internet” was cemented within my being. I maintained similar roles for about 5 years before I sought some change of scenery. I spent a few years exploring some other potential career avenues and furthering my education but ultimately found myself back at “home” in 2008 at an internet marketing agency. It just so happened that this was the same agency I started at in 1997 while still in High School. Shortly after accepting my new role, I was introduced to AdWords. I was instantly consumed with all of the details that existed in the interface and the analysis involved. Over time, I became a man of many trades but decided to focus more on advertising and dedicated myself to learning as much as possible about all forms of PPC advertising and analysis. I gained invaluable hands on experience while working and tripled that knowledge consuming and sharing information here on the Community.

 

Q: Since I asked this of theniks in his Spotlight recently, can you share with the Community a cool story about working with two other Top Contributors in the same company?

 

A: How about a quick story about how the three of us ended up on the same team. I “met” Kim online sometime in early 2012 just after this new Community was officially launched. We would occasionally exchange an email or chat about the latest and greatest about AdWords. We maintained occasional contact as she partnered with Philly Marketing Labs. I remember how excited I was for her and her new venture. I finally met Kim and the entire TC group in person for the first time at the 2012 Summit and had such a great time with them all. It wasn’t long after when Kim needed to expand her team and reached out to gauge my interest. I suppose it goes without saying but I happily joined PML in April of 2013 as a Paid Search Manager. Fast forward 6 months and again we are looking to expand the team. As the powers that be were considering candidates and looking at recruiting strategies, Nik’s name was mentioned. I had in a similar fashion to Kim, become friends with Nik online over the last year or so through this Community so I reached out to him to see if he would be interested in talking and connected him with Kim. It turned out that he was indeed interested and was also a really great fit for our team. Nik officially joined our PML family a month or so ago. Working alongside Kim has been great. We work extremely well together and we’re great friends. The same can be said for Nik.  He has been able to make an immediate impact on our team and I’m really excited to see what the future holds for all of us. I’m fairly certain that we now hold the record for most AdWords TC’s on one team. Smiley Happy

[CM JP: I’m pretty sure that’s true for the English AdWords Community but I wonder if it’s true for all the Communities? Maybe even across all the Google Products??]

 

Q:  As a Top Contributor, what advice would you give to some of our more active Community members on how to become a TC?

 

A: Among our current group of TC’s, I think you’d definitely hear some varying thoughts on this but I’ll share some that I have (some that I re-evaluate myself on occasion.)  Smiley Happy

 

- Be Correct: I would suggest that anyone posting should err on the side of correctness over post counts and rankings. Sure, everyone makes mistakes occasionally but it’s always better to avoid sharing potentially damaging or incorrect information over volume. Quality goes a very long way when trying to assist people. One strategy I used early on was to subscribe to threads that contained content I was unsure about. Then I would get to read all the responses, ask a clarifying question or two and solidify my understanding with additional research.

 

- Be Concise: Remember, no one should ever feel forced into responding to any post. But when you do decide to post, make an effort to read through the questions entirely and carefully. Try to understand where a user is coming from and try to assess their knowledge level. Although we all may know 10 advanced ways to get to the desired result, often times, the one basic one is all a user may be looking for.  

 

- Be Consistent: In my short tenure here, I’ve seen numerous folks show up, start making great contributions and then vanish. At the same time, some long standing, regular contributors have joined the TC program. As far as I know, contributing daily is not a prerequisite for the TC program but showing up and contributing somewhat regularly will not hurt your efforts. Along the same lines, be consistent in how you post and respond.  

 

- Be Cool: Just like in most life situations, everyone wants to be around cool, friendly and approachable people. One common trait that all of us TC’s share is our passion for Google and especially for AdWords. Additionally, we all embrace the sense of Community, enjoy helping others and love to give back. The reality of anything to do with Google is that there is an underlying theme of Googliness when it comes to people. Although some may not admit to it, most TC’s seem to have at least a little of that going on as well.

[CM JP: This is some awesome advice for our Community members who want to fastrack towards the Top Contributor role!]

 

Q. What do you enjoy most about the Community?

 

A: I can’t even begin tell you how many amazing people I have met since joining this Community. From all regular members that I chat with from time to time, to my great friends in the TC program all over the world, all the way to guys like Matt Cutts and Avinash Kaushik. I really enjoy the camaraderie that I’ve been able to establish with everyone involved, not only with AdWords and this Community but with Google in general. I also try to continue learning every day and by visiting this Community, I’m almost guaranteed to find something new. The diversity of scenarios that come up on this Community provide a learning resource that cannot be duplicated. I also like when my contributions actually make some sort of impact. I’ve had some rough exchanges with folks in the past but more often, I’m able to actually help a user with their learning curve. There is great internal reward when you find that you really helped someone out.


 

Q: Where would you like to see the Adwords Community go in the future?

 

A: I’ve been around just long enough to have seen the birth of this Community in its current state and the immense growth is has experienced over the last couple of years. I’m blown away at how far it has already progressed and how all the moving pieces seem to continually work together. I honestly can’t see any specific direction I’d like to see the Community head in, but I’ll be here for the ride wherever it does go. This Community has had quite an impact on me and I’m very appreciative to everyone for all that they do to make this place great.         

 

Q: Let’s do a hypothetical question: Say the Google AdWords design team approached you asking you what is the one feature you would like to add to AdWords. What would it be?

 

A: Help eliminate the gap in the sales/reporting cycle when someone picks up the phone with AdWords Dynamic Phone Tracking. Take the Google Forwarding functionality to the next level and down to the deepest level of reporting. I imagine that through cookies and snippets installed on our sites, we could allow google to assign phone numbers that will not only show in our ads but also on our site. Essentially, assigning a phone number to a specific user for a session (or perhaps short cookie duration). I know there are some very expensive ways of accomplishing this and with some moderately expensive investment, ways to get very close now, but it just seems like it could be so much easier and more efficient if Google would offer some sort of solution to us. I would also imagine that something like this could somehow translate better for offline conversion tracking. “At “T” time, someone who clicked “X” ad dialed “Y” phone number that was displayed on “Z” page...and here is the GCLID for your offline conversion tracking.” Maybe?

 

Or you could just give us non click impression data for all impressions.  Smiley Happy

 

Q: Lastly to end our interview on a Googley note, tell us something cool about you?

 

A: Although the past few years I’ve not been so active, I’ve been an athlete pretty much my entire life.  A few years back, I was training and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). I even fought in front of a couple of thousand people in my first MMA fight. Also, more recently, I’ve taken part in a few Warrior Dash (Mud Run) events with my family. These are 5K runs, generally through hilly, wooded areas with a dozen or so obstacles strategically placed throughout the race. You can’t help but smile and laugh your way through it. The traditional beer and turkey leg at the finish line is the icing on the cake.


 


 

Community Spotlight Surprise Guest  - Milda

 


 

“I always joke that SEM (especially AdWords) is the only thing I can do, as I’ve been working with it for so long.”

-Continue reading below for more information about our Surprise guest this week!



 

Q: To start off, give us some background about yourself and how you got started with PPC - specifically AdWords.

 

A: I’m from Lithuania and I’ve been working with Google AdWords since 2005. As back then AdWords wasn’t possible in Lithuania, I was working with American clients. My job as AdWords account manager started accidentally and this “accident” is still happening: a few months ago I joined a huge international company Omnicom Media Group as a SEM account manager. I always joke that SEM (especially AdWords) is the only thing I can do, as I’ve been working with it for so long.

 

Q: Tell us about your best AdWords experience? Funniest?

 

A: My funniest AdWords experience reaches my first client back in 2005: we didn’t have conversion tracking in Google Analytics (it was still Urchin, actually), there was no ad scheduling and we were working with the client from the US which meant 5 hours ahead of the client. I had to watch conversions closely and stop the campaigns as soon as we had a certain amount of conversions that day, so it all ended up for me getting up at 3, 4, 5 a.m. and checking the number of conversions. When I think about it now, I’m so grateful for every single update! Smiley Happy

 

Q:  What do you enjoy most about the Community?

 

A: The main reason I love this community is the amount of information constantly updated. Lithuania is among the emerging markets which means we have a very limited access to AdWords features, so every time a question emerges, this Community is the first source of information I dig into. Of course, I love answering the questions when only I am able to: it’s nice to share some knowledge and be able to help others. Last but not least, I had the possibility to take part in the Top Contributors Summit last autumn (I’m the only Top Contributor in the tiny Lithuanian AdWords Help forum) where I met all the nice contributors from this Community, so it’s great to read their posts Smiley Happy

 

[CM JP: I  actually remember meeting you, Robert Coats and a few other TCs at our AdWords booth at the Summit in September 2013! Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves that week.]

 

Q: Where would you like to see the Adwords Community go in the future?

 

A: Actually, I already see it as one of the most important sources of information. Sometimes it’s even deeper than the official help articles. Way to go!

 

Q: Let’s do a hypothetical question: Say the Google AdWords design team approached you asking you what is the one feature you would like to add to AdWords. What would it be?

 

A: As I said before, I’m grateful for every new feature occurring Smiley Happy However, when receiving notifications regarding disapproved ads or campaigns ended, it would be great to see not just CID but also the account name.

 

Q: Lastly to end our interview on a Googley note, tell us something cool about you?

 

A: I’ve never been cool myself, so I needed 2 crazy Brussels griffons running around to make me cooler. To make myself even cooler, I had to earn the Google Certified Trainer badge and be one of the founders of Digital Academy in Lithuania where we teach agencies and individuals to use Google AdWords and Analytics. I panic every time I think of public speaking and still I love teaching others something I know myself.


 


 

 

Tune in to the Community to find out who will be the next on the Spotlight interview. Want to be featured in the next Spotlight? Let us know by posting a reply on this thread.

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: AdWords Community Spotlight - Tommy Sands (aka "PPCBossman&qu

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
Nice interviews guys Smiley Happy

Re: AdWords Community Spotlight - Tommy Sands (aka "PPCBossman&qu

Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Explorer ✭ ✭ ✭
Hoho Smiley Happy Nice to find myself here neighboring PPCBossman!

Re: AdWords Community Spotlight - Tommy Sands (aka "PPCBossman&qu

[ Edited ]
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆

Wow @PPCBossman Mixed Martial Arts, hummm I will be careful what i say to you from now on Smiley Very Happy

Welcome to Community @mildaster 

Regards, Nik
LinkedIn  |   @nikhilparachure | My Blog

Re: AdWords Community Spotlight - Tommy Sands (aka "PPCBossman&qu

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

So proud to have you on the team Tommy!

Re: AdWords Community Spotlight - Tommy Sands (aka "PPCBossman&qu

Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭

Why are there empty rectangles in place of pictures in this article ?

Re: AdWords Community Spotlight - Tommy Sands (aka "PPCBossman&qu

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 7
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
I even fought in front of a couple of thousand people in my first MMA fight.

Oddly enough, I can't find any record of your fight. hmmmm....

Re: AdWords Community Spotlight - Tommy Sands (aka "PPCBossman&qu

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor
So nice to see you Leather - how's everything going? It's nice to actually put a face to a name. Cute kid too.

I can assure you, I've never made any false claims about who or what I am or what I've done.
How can I help you feel better about my amateur MMA fight?
Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: AdWords Community Spotlight - Tommy Sands (aka "PPCBossman&qu

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Oh please! Let me help you out: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=tommy+sands+mma