In the third quarter of 2012, click share on the Yahoo Bing Network rose to 21.3%, the fourth quarter in a row the network has posted gains. Google dropped to 78.7% in share, though based on click traffic, Google still outpaced YBN.
These are stats from the Search Agency’s State of Paid Search report for the third quarter. Here’s a look at click share over time:
As you can see, YBN’s share has consistently grown, while Google’s has dropped. But the chart doesn’t reflect the fact that the total number of paid clicks has increased. From the report:
Across all search engines, Q3 2012 click traffic increased 27% YoY. Q3 shows little growth over Q2 with a modest 2.5% increase in click traffic.
In other words, the “pie” of paid search traffic got larger, so even if Google’s “slice” is smaller than in past quarters, it comes from a larger pie and therefore may still have growth. In fact, the report says that according to another metric, “click traffic,” Google is outpacing YBN:
Consistent with previous trends, Google’s YoY click traffic outranked Bing for Q3 2012—Google saw a 28.8% growth, while Bing saw a 21.7% growth in click traffic
The positive news from The Search Agencies jibes with other positive Q3 data about the Yahoo Bing network released by the biggest players in the industry.
Kenshoo, for example, found that ad spend on the Yahoo/Bing Network (YBN) was up 10% in Q3 as compared to Q2, while Google ad spend was only up 7% in the same period. Covario also found a rise in Yahoo/Bing spending, but only of 5%, with Google experiencing a quarter-over-quarter gain of 8%.
Marin Software looked at the third quarter compared to the year before and found that advertisers on Bing saw a 9% higher click volume. In the same year-over-year comparison, Rimm-Kaufman Group (RKG) found ad spend rising 26% on Bing, with ad clicks growing 14% and CPCs up 10%.
“Over the last quarter we’ve seen higher quality traffic on Yahoo/Bing, driving advertisers to invest more in the growing search engine,” said Keith Wilson, vice president of AgencyProducts at The Search Agency.
Kenshoo has found Yahoo/Bing metrics steadily increasing over the past six quarters, except Q1 of 2012 when CTR was flat. Six quarters ago, notes the company’s report, there was little significant difference between Yahoo/Bing and Google when it came to CTR and CPC, but now Yahoo/Bing CTR is 29% higher than Google, and CPC on YBN is 46% higher than Google.