Bing Search Attracting More Ad Dollars

Brands and agencies invested more ad dollars for search ads running across Google and Bing during Q1 2014, compared with the year-ago quarter, per The Search Agency, which released numbers this week. Among its clients, investments in Bing grew at 60% during the quarter, about double the rate of Google at 29%.

Google still holds the majority of market share spend, but the rate in which advertisers invest in search campaigns on Bing continues to grow faster.

The Search Agency (TSA) State of Paid Search Report for Q1 2014 found the total spend across Google and Bing rose 35%, compared with the year-ago quarter, driven by ads running on desktops, smartphones, and tablets.

Search ads on tablets and smartphones accounted for 28% of all impressions. TSA estimates, based on those numbers, that mobile will make up 40% of all impressions by the end of 2014. The quarterly report analyzes aggregate client data to identify paid search marketing trends across search engines and devices.

Smartphone impressions experienced the most year-over-year (YoY) growth, rising 60% compared with tablet impressions, which saw 42% growth. Desktop impressions grew 9%. Spend on smartphones grew 26% YoY.

Click-through rates (CTRs) grew 9.5%, and the cost per click (CPC) grew 4.6%. CTR experienced a large seasonal bump this quarter, peaking at 2.77%. Impressions and CPCs declined sequentially.

Click-through rates (CTRs) grew 9.5% overall. CTRs on desktops experienced a large seasonal bump, peaking at 2.7% in the quarter, up from 2.3% in the year-ago quarter. Smartphone CTR fell to 2.8% from 3.5%, and tablets fell to 3.3% from 3.4%, respectively.

Overall, the cost per click (CPC) grew to $0.91 in Q1 2014 from $0.87 Q1 2013. The CPC for desktop was $0.94 in Q1 2014, up from $0.89 in the year-ago quarter. Smartphones saw CPCs fall to $0.76 from $0.79, and tablets rise to $0.93 from $0.84, respectively, among TSA clients.

Google's CPCs rose 8.4% from the previous year's quarter, while Bing's declined 12.3%, suggesting a rise in competition within Google's bidding environment compared with Bing's. TSA attributes the shift, in part, to the increases the agency sees on Bing.

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