Advertiser spending on paid search rose 18% in 2012 according to Covario’s Global Search Advertising Spend Analysis, which tracks paid search spending in more than 45 countries. That growth trend is down just slightly from the 21% annual increase Covario reported for 2011.
In Q4 Google commanded 86.5% of global paid search spend and a whopping 93% of impressions. Advertisers spent 13% more on search spending with Google than they did a year ago. Spending on the Yahoo Bing Network increased 23% over the past year, however spend fell 6% from Q3.
Regional Outlook: US & Canada Drove Q4 Growth
In Q4 global search ad spend rose 15%. Spending in the Americas, dominated by the U.S. and Canada, rose 21% year-over-year. Part of that growth is attributed to Google’s transition to Product Listing Ads in October. The Europe-Middle East region, still reeling from economic slowdown, saw relatively low growth at 10% year-over-year. Spending in the Asia-Pacific region increased 13% despite a double-digit slide in the second half of the quarter as advertisers cut spending at signs of economic weakness.
Mobile PPC: A Breakout Year for Tablets
Mobile PPC spending rose 30% year-over-year in Q4 and 10% over Q3. Tablets continued to take ad spend share from smartphones. According to Covario, “Due to the growth in tablet ownership, the mobile spending split has nearly flip-flopped from a year ago when smartphones made up 56% mobile ad spending.”
The report finds that, for the second straight quarter, CPCs on tablets were higher than on desktops (7%), while smartphone CPCs remained 55% lower than on desktops.