By Ginny Marvin
With robust consumer holiday shopping, US paid search closed out 2014 with 11 percent growth year-over-year in Q4 ad spend, bouncing back from sluggish growth of just 2.1 percent in Q3 2014. The data, which comes from IgnitionOne’s quarterly report, shows that the growth surge was driven by increased spend on the Yahoo Bing Network which saw strong spend share gains for the second straight quarter.
Advertisers increased spending by 31 percent year-over-year on the Yahoo Bing Network (through the Bing Ads platform). Spending on Google AdWords rose by just 5 percent.
Impressions Only Metric To Dip Overall In Q4
Off by 14.6 overall, Google impressions fell 25 percent while Bing Ads impressions rose by 22 percent year-over-year. The impression drop on Google was in part due to changes within Google’s partner network and IgnitionOne advertisers increasingly pulling out of search partners, says the company.
Click volume and click-through rates continued to rise, however. Clicks rose 9 percent overall, with Google clicks up 3 percent. Click-through rates were up 28 percent overall, with Google up 37 percent and Bing up 6 percent compared to the previous year.
Costs-per-click (CPC) were up 1.2 percent, and effective CPM rose 29 percent. IgnitionOne says the spend increase on Google can be attributed to three primary factors: 1. As advertisers continue to pull out of the Google search partners network, average CPCs will rise., 2. Mobile CPCs continue to grow at faster rates than desktop year-over-year, 3. The removal of “close variants” targeting for exact match also drove CPCs higher.
Here’s a snapshot of what the metrics through IgnitionOne have looked like over the past year.