Covario released findings Wednesday showing that its clients -- the majority related to electronics and retail -- spent 33% more on paid-search campaigns in Q1 2013 compared with the year-ago quarter. The Americas, driven by the U.S. and Canada, saw spending rise 29% year-on-year.
Overall, the cost per click (CPC) rose by 7%, reversing a stable or downward trend experienced during the past six quarters. Ad effectiveness measured through the click-through rate (CTR) metric improved in recent quarters, showing double-digit growth both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year. The numbers show a changing landscape where increased competition, tablet growth and popular ad formats like Google's Product Listing Ads have reversed the trend of limited CPC growth, according to the report.
Globally, Google continues to dominate by taking 86% market share of ad budgets, 86% in impressions, and 62% in clicks. Advertisers increased the amount spent on Google -- up 33% from a year ago. The Yahoo Bing Network continues to grow, with year-over-year spending up 23% and gains of 7% quarter-over quarter. The duo holds 7.2% global market share in paid-search spend and 7.2% in clicks.
Baidu, which reportedly takes 80% market share in China, saw media spend grow on its search platform by 152% year-over-year and 21% quarter-on-quarter. In Q1 2013, Baidu accounted for roughly 5% of the amount marketers spent on paid-search ads, 10% of all impressions, and one-quarter of clicks globally.
The report also analyzes mobile trends for both smartphones and tablets. Globally, mobile advertising grew 51% in the first quarter sequentially, and 124% compared with the year-ago quarter. Mobile search advertising made up 14% of total spending. The device breakdown of mobile ad spend was 36% for smartphones and 64% for tablets.
This week, Covario also released the ability to integrate Facebook's Open Graph Markup into local Web site landing pages for multi-location businesses. This upgrade integrates relevancy tags into the recently launched Facebook Open Graph Search capability. Hyper-local, geographically targeted markup is now a key component of the Rio SEO Local Search Optimizer tool, which ports Facebook Open Graph and Schema.org micro data into relevant local landing pages.
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