July 15, 2014, 11:50 AM

Paid search spending jumps 21% in Q2

Spending on smartphones and tablets drove much of the growth, nearly doubling from the second quarter in 2013.

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When it comes to growth in paid search advertising, mobile is where it’s at. While total search spending rose 21% in the second quarter of 2014 over the same period last year, spending on smartphones and tablets shot up 98%, according to an analysis by search marketing agency Covario Inc.

The quarterly spending analysis is based on the global paid search spending of Covario’s clients in the retail, consumer electronics and technology sectors. The analysis has been running for 30 quarters.

Mobile platforms now represent 25% of all paid search spending. Tablets are increasing their share of the mobile ad spend, with 62% of mobile spending—up from 60% last quarter. Smartphones, on the other hand, dropped to 38% of the mobile ad spend from 40% last quarter.

Click-through-rates and cost-per-click prices were up during this quarter as well. Click-through rates for desktop and mobile devices increased 39.0% over the same quarter last year, while cost-per-click prices increased 2.4%. 

Google Inc. continued to take the biggest piece of the global paid search spending pie with 86%. Chinese search engine Baidu took 8%, Yahoo-Bing took 4% and all other search engines took the remaining 2%. When it comes to impressions, Google has 73%, with China’s Baidu taking an ever-increasing portion. This quarter, the search engine captured 17% of the paid search impressions.

Baidu’s increasing share is even more prevalent when looking at clicks, where Google has just 60% and Baidu 34%. Last quarter, the Covario analysis showed Baidu accounted for 24% of all paid search clicks, but 8% of total paid search spending and 7% of total ad impressions. In China, Baidu dominates search, with 96.5% of the spending on search advertising going to that platform. In comparison, just 1.5% of the spending goes to Google. In the United States, Google capture 89% of search spending. 

A report from digital marketing agency RKG found paid search spending on Google increased 24% in 2014 over 2013. Spending on Bing As increased 19% year over year. The firm also noted an increase in mobile, with smartphones and tablets now accounting for 19% and 18% of paid clicks, respectively. When it comes to products ads, RKG found an increased of 72% year over year. That includes both Google's Product Listing Ads and Bing's Product Ads.

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