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2013 Search Advertising Ends on a High Note

Posted on 1.16.2014

Search advertising ended 2013 on a high note, with data from Covario revealing that fourth quarter pay-per-click advertising rose 13 percent from the third quarter and 7 percent year-over-year.

Additional data from the search marketing firm shows that paid search advertising on mobile devices soared, with spending increasing 23 percent over the third quarter and 55 percent when compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. In fact, mobile search advertising now represents 20 percent of total search spending worldwide.

It is also important to note, however, that keyword pricing declined in the fourth quarter, yet the average cost-per-click (CPC) increased 10 percent when compared to 2012.

“CPC pricing has been fluctuating over the past few quarters, something not surprising after the platform overhaul that Google AdWords went through at the midway point of 2013,” said Alex Funk, director of global paid search media strategy at Covario.

Covario’s report also sheds light on regional search spend, revealing that fourth quarter spending in the Americas was up 17 percent quarter-over-quarter and 9 percent year-over-year. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), however, saw weaker overall search spend in the fourth quarter, with quarter-over-quarter spending declining 1 percent and year-over-year spending declining 8 percent.

Conversely, the Asia/Pacific (APAC) region saw quarterly search spend grow by 5 percent, and by 21 percent year-over-year. According to Funk, this growth was driven by a 13 percent increase in click-through rates (CTR) and a 20 percent increase in click traffic.

Unsurprisingly, the data shows that Google continues to dominate global search engines, with 84 percent of the world’s paid search market share. Plus, advertiser increases in fourth quarter spending with Google were up 7 percent year-over-year. Also worth noting is the Yahoo-Bing Network, which holds 8 percent of the global paid search spend market share and saw year-over-year quarterly spending grow by 23 percent.

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