All that fuss, and it’s over in the blink of an eye. Can you believe the holidays are officially over? Another year bites the dust, and 2015 is officially upon us. That means a clean slate, new opportunities, and a new chance to make this the best year of your life to date. Happy New Year!

The past few weeks have been filled with planning, scrambling to get holiday preparations completed in time for big events, and of course a little partying. Not surprisingly, the folks at Google and Bing have been a bit quiet this past week as their respective teams have had more important things on their minds. So that said, today’s Weekly PPC Update will be a bit different. Nothing to report from either Google or Bing by way of major updates, news, or informative blog posts, so we’ll skip right to the web-at-large to see what’s been shaking during the busy holiday season this past week.

What role will social networks play in paid advertising moving forward? PPCHero takes a look at The State of Paid Search and, in particular, how social networking is reshaping the paid advertising space. In fact, PPCHero suggests that advertisers should make focusing on non-Google advertising opportunities a focus in 2015.

Of course, there are well-known paid advertising ops on the big three:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

But as social networking continues to maintain strengthened user bases, other platforms are entering the mix with advertising opportunities of their own, such as Pinterest and Instagram. Not to mention, new social networks are cropping up all the time – some make it, some don’t, but nonetheless, you should keep your eye on the prize and always be on the lookout for promising advertising platforms. Read what PPCHero has to say about social networking and its role in paid advertising in this post.

What impact does PPC have on brand awareness? PPCHero looks at what is generally a focus of traditional marketing: associating your brand name with a non-branded term so much that they practically become synonymous. Think: Kleenex and tissues. But PPC can have a substantial impact on these types of associations, as well. For tips on making this happen with search, display, remarketing, and even YouTube, check out this post.

Speaking of branding with paid search, 3Q Digital is jumping in on that action, too. This post covers the ins and outs of how to set goals for a PPC branding campaign, the metrics that matter, and more. Hmm, might we have stumbled onto a PPC trend for 2015?

2014 was a pretty up-in-the-air year for SEO, while many businesses struggled to figure out how to make organic SEO work in the new era of Google. 3Q Digital highlights six big SEO what-ifs for 2015, pondering questions such as, “What if some queries showed zero organic listings in 2015?” Intriguing stuff; check it out.

Have you written a 2015 PPC Game Plan? If you didn’t get to the pre-game plan, don’t worry. It’s still the beginning of the year, and it’s never too late to get your act together and a solid plan underway. For some great tips on how to craft a 2015 PPC Game Plan, head over to this post from Clix Marketing.

Search Engine Watch reveals its #1 most-read article of 2014: Escape Google With These 12 Search Engine Alternatives. Natch, it seems fitting to re-post the top article of 2014 on the first day of 2015, and that’s just what they did. If you missed it back in May when it was originally published, you can check it out here.

Curious what the other most-read articles of 2014 were? Here are the rest of the top five:

#2: The 10 Best Shopping Engines

#3: Index Your Content Faster With the Fetch as Google Tool

#4: 5 Advanced YouTube SEO Tactics to Drive More Traffic to Your Videos & Website

#5: Google Launches Panda 4.0

What a better way to wrap up the first Weekly PPC Update for 2015 than a look back at the “Best of the Best” from 2014? WordStream, of course, was on top of its game with their year-end roundup on December 30th. It’s a must-read to kick off your 2015. Read it here.

If you faced ups and downs with PPC success in 2014, had a really crappy year in general, or it was your best year yet and you’re shooting for an even better 2015, it’s a New Year – time to ramp up your game and make it happen! And of course, checking in with little old me every week will help you stay on top of the latest and greatest PPC news and strategies (ahem, shameless plug). Hope you all had a fantastic New Year and are resting up this weekend to get ready to kick some serious 2015 butt on Monday. Show up with your game face on; I’ll be sporting mine.