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The Search Agency’s Quarterly State of Paid Search Report Shows Mobile Devices Drive Quarterly Growth; Bing Continues to Gain Market Share

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Oct. 16, 2013 – The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm and the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency, today released its quarterly State of Paid Search Report, which found that Q3 saw strong growth in impressions, clicks and advertiser spend across Google, Bing and Yahoo!. In addition, mobile continues to gain market share over desktop, with one-third of Google’s clicks coming from mobile and tablet devices. Impressions increased 37.1 percent while clicks grew 16.2 percent and advertiser spend increased 23.1 percent year-over-year. The quarterly report analyzed aggregated client data from various industries to identify paid search marketing trends across search engines and devices on a year-over-year (YoY—Q2 2012 to Q3 2013) and quarter-over-quarter (QoQ—Q2 2013 to Q3 2013) basis.

“In Q3, we continue to observe consumers migrating toward smartphone and tablet devices,” said Keith Wilson, vice president of agency products at The Search Agency. “With Enhanced Campaigns rolled out and Google’s cross-device estimated conversions announcement, marketers must adapt to these new tool sets to understand how to connect with today and tomorrow’s consumer.” Additional findings from The Search Agency’s State of Paid Search Report include,

Paid search spend increased 23 percent YoY
The quarter saw a strong growth in overall search activity, with impressions, clicks and advertising spend all increasing. Clicks on Bing grew 20.9 percent compared with Google’s growth at 15.3 percent YoY.

CPCs are on the rise
Average Cost Per Click (CPC) increased on both Bing and Google in Q3, rising 19.6 and 3.5 percent respectively, but Google’s CPC has fallen by 1.3 percent QoQ while Bing was up .9 percent. Bing also saw double-digit growth in CPCs across all three device types, with the largest growth occurring on smartphones, which increased by 25.2 percent YoY. Google also saw CPC growth on all three device types, with the largest growth in tablets at 14.2 percent.

On mobile devices, Google is King
Google’s distribution of clicks continues to shift from desktops to smartphones and tablets, with mobile devices making up more than one-third of their clicks in Q3. Bing’s click distribution remained largely unchanged with less than 18 percent of clicks coming from smartphones and tablets.

Smartphones and tablets remain strong
Consumers increased click volume on smartphones increased by over 50 percent, while volume on tablets increased by 63.4 percent YoY.  And despite a 10.4 percent drop in smartphone CPC, total advertiser spend on smartphones was up 68 percent YoY. Total spend on tablets went up 87.6 percent YoY.

Retailers continue to invest in Product Listing Ads (PLA)
The retail industry continues to see value in PLAs, with spend on this ad format up 27.9 percent YoY and 7.8 percent QoQ. Smartphones and tablets account for over 31 percent of total PLA clicks, compared to only 5.4 percent in Q3 2012.

Real estate and construction go mobile
In the real estate and construction sector, mobile is driving click growth, as 29 percent of all clicks come from mobile devices compared to only 15 percent in the prior year. Advertisers had strong click growth in the industry, up 24 percent YoY and 12.7 percent QoQ.

To uncover key trends for the Q3 2013 State of Paid Search Report, The Search Agency extracted client data from search engine advertising tools. The research sample included advertisers who had 15 consecutive months of data with The Search Agency, and had an established and stable business model from Q2 2012 to Q3 2013. All results are based on U.S. campaigns only.

To download the report, go to

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