The Yahoo-Bing Network grew in market share for the third sequential quarter reaching 26.9% in the U.S. during Q1, compared with Google's 73.1%, among IgnitionOne clients.
Impressions for the Yahoo-Bing network rose to 46% and spend rose 30%, as a result of Enhanced Campaigns -- as well as the ability for advertisers to pick and choose or exclude domains that performed more poorly across the network. The cost per click on the Yahoo-Bing network rose 15% year-over-year (YoY), compared with Google at 23%.
For Google, the higher CPCs come with click-through rates (CTRs) growing 41%. This was not the case with the Yahoo-Bing network due to enhanced campaigns, which are forcing advertisers onto devices that they had not advertised on previously, driving up competition and CPCs, and hurting CTR growth among IgnitionOne clients, per the report.
The report also explains that Google made an algorithm change in September 2014 that increased CPCs. This change enforces close-variant matching to all exact and phrase-match keywords. It also shows ads for queries that are considered plurals, misspelling, or close variants of their exact and phrase-match keywords.
Compared with the previous quarter, U.S. paid-search metrics look positive. Even when compared to a strong holiday season, spend rose 10% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) with CPCs up 21% and eCPM up 49%. CTR also increased 23% sequentially. Traffic slowed seasonally with impressions falling 26% and clicks down falling 9%.
Dave Ragals, global managing director of Search at IgnitionOne, said the partner networks have become the differentiators. Marketers continue to pull out of the Google Partner Network and use the Yahoo-Bing network because of the ability to block certain domains and choose the partners to advertise on.
Overall, clicks rose 4% and CTR by 30% YoY. Impressions fell 20%. IgnitionOne attributes the change to advertisers pulling out of the Google Partner Network, which for IgnitionOne clients saw a drop across impressions by 46% while clicks fell 25% and spend fell 11%. This has been an ongoing trend during the past several quarters as advertisers have experienced weaker efficiency on those partner sites, per IgnitionOne.