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Mobile and better creative drive global search growth

Independent search and content marketing firm Covario says that second quarter spending on pay-per-click advertising (PPC) by its enterprise technology, B2B, consumer electronics, and retail clients rose 21 per cent above the second quarter of 2013 and 2 percent ahead of this year’s first quarter.

Paid search advertising on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets drove much of the growth on a global scale with mobile search spend rising 98 per cent year-on-year and six per cent versus last quarter. Covario says that mobile platforms now represent 25 per cent of all paid search spending. Mobile ad spend by device type in the second quarter stood at 62 per cent for tablets and 38 per cent for smartphones.

Globally, click-through rates (CTRs) for all desktop and mobile devices surged by 39 per cent over the same quarter a year ago, while cost-per-click (CPC) prices rose 2.4 per cent during the quarter and 12 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2013. Covario director of global paid media strategy Alex Funk (left)Unknown says: “this is due in large part to the increased desktop competition for the falling impression levels buoyed by higher performing ad units.”

The Americas region, led by paid search in the US, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Brazil, realized a 31 per cent year-over-year increase in search spending, but was flat compared to the first quarter of 2014.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), search spending continued its modest rebound in the second quarter, increasing three per cent over the same period a year ago and five percent higher than the first quarter, driven by both an increase in click activity and by higher CTRs on ad creative. The developed markets of Germany, the UK, France, and the Nordics had the largest gains.

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Second quarter search ad spending in the Asia/Pacific region (APAC) experienced muted growth of one per cent year-on-year and six per cent quarter-on-quarter. Covario’s Funk says the growth was due to a nine per cent increase in click volume and a 23 per cent increase in ad effectiveness, but was tempered by a seven per cent decrease in CPCs.

imagesBaidu (left), which dominates the Chinese search market, captured 25 per cent of the overall APAC search market share, with 69 per cent going to Google and four per cent to Naver – the leading search engine in South Korea.

Among the major search engines globally, Google continues to command 86 per cent of total paid search spend, 73 per cent of global impressions, and 63 per cent of the clicks worldwide. Global advertiser spending with Google was up 19 per cent in the second quarter from a year ago.

Baidu now has eight per cent of the global search market share (concentrated primarily in China) and the Yahoo-Bing network has a four per cent share.

The full Covario report can be downloaded here.

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