April 3, 2012, 12:52 PM

Paid search spending increases 30% in Q1

And mobile search spending grew even faster, IgnitionOne says.

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Spending on search advertising increased 30.3% during the first quarter compared with the same period last year, according to a report today from IgnitionOne. The digital marketing firm provided no spending figures, but said the Q1 growth rate was more than double the rate for the first quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2010.

The report also showed that search spending on Yahoo/Bing increased 46.4% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, the strongest showing for that search partnership since the second quarter of 2010, IgnitionOne says. (Microsoft Corp.’s Bing search engine provides the search functionality for Yahoo Inc. sites as well as Microsoft sites.) Spending on Google search advertising increased 26.6% in the first quarter.

Still, Google accounted for 78.83% of search advertising  spend in the United States in the first quarter, compared with 21.17% for Yahoo/Bing. The report credits the growth to Bing using more broad match keywords, which led to more competition in keyword auctions.

Paid search clicks in the first quarter increased 29.1% year over year, IgnitionOne says, while impressions increased 7.2%. IgnitionOne bases its findings on ad spending by more than 500 of its clients.

Mobile search, meanwhile, accounted for 12.3% of search advertising in the first quarter, with tablet devices taking 67.4% of that mobile search spending. Overall, spending on mobile search ads increased 221.1% in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2011. Mobile clicks increased 246.1% year over year.

“This was a very successful Q1 on many fronts. The Yahoo/Bing turnaround was arguably the most interesting with an uptick coming primarily from the adoption of broad match targeting by marketers,” says Roger Barnette, president of IgnitionOne. “And while the growth in mobile ad spend has been an ongoing trend, I am impressed by the level of activity. This should be a wake-up call for marketers who are not yet leveraging search advertising on these devices.” 

In Europe, meanwhile, search ad spending increased 10.4% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, while clicks increased 12.2% and impressions increased 0.2%.

At the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012, Craig Handelsman, CIO, CentralVacuumStores.com , and  Timothy Seward, CEO, ROI Revolution Inc., will speak in a session entitled “Shifting a paid search campaign into overdrive with new Google tools.

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