The Search Agency's State of Paid Search Report: Q4 2013

The Search Agency’s State of Paid Search Report summarizes current paid search marketing trends across search engines, devices, and industries.

To uncover key trends of Q4 2013, the agency extracted client data from search engine advertising tools. The sample included advertisers who had fifteen consecutive months of data with The Search Agency and an established and stable business model from Q4 2012 to Q4 2013. All results are based on U.S. campaigns only. Our findings and forecasts are based on year-over-year (YoY) and quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) analyses on aggregated client data.  Here are some of our key findings:

  • CPCs increased both YoY and QoQ; CPCs grew 27.6% YoY and 5.8% QoQ. 

  • Search spend in Q4 grew 37.4% from the previous year. Q4 also saw an expected increase in impressions and CPCs due to an uptick in retail sales during the holiday season.

  • After three quarters of sequential growth in impressions, Bing lost impression share to Google QoQ. 

  • Smartphone adoption continues to grow at a rapid rate, while tablet growth has begun to level off. Clicks on smartphones now represent one-fifth of all clicks and tablet clicks now represent one-eighth of all clicks. As combined smartphone and tablet click share increases, non-desktop clicks are increasingly leading to higher CPCs. 

  • Product Listing Ads (PLAs) experienced substantial growth in Q4 in the form of increased clicks, impressions, and spend QoQ and YoY. 


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