Google Product Listing Ads generated 28% of Google non-brand clicks in Q4 according to RKG’s latest Digital Marketing Report released today. PLA CPCs were 26% lower than CPCs for competitive text ads. RKG also found a larger than average gap between bids and actual CPCs for PLAs, suggesting competition is still relatively light.
Product Listing Ads are also having a big impact on non-brand Google ROI when compared to Bing. RKG reports, “As Google CPCs have declined overall and compared to Bing, the non-brand ROI for Google now stands 22% higher than that for Bing.”
Google Nonbrand Paid Search ROI Compared to Bing
Holiday Paid Search Revenue Trends
The report also looked at weekly trends in paid search revenue throughout the holiday season. The chart below illustrates the spikes in consumer interest and paid search traffic during the 2012 holiday season. Paid search revenue accelerated around the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend and then slowed during early December before spiking nearly 50% in the last week before Christmas. Mobile paid search traffic had two clear spikes: one around Black Friday and another just after Christmas.
Paid Search Revenue By Week
Overall Q4 Paid Search Performance
RKG reports that in Q4 paid search spending rose 23% and ad clicks were up 18% with a small 4% rise in CPCs. After negative growth in 2011, Bing spending rebounded in 2012. Bing Ads saw a 54% jump in overall spending and a 52% increase in non-brand spending in Q4. Google also saw growth, bolstered by the switch over to PLAs, and managed to stem its four quarter streak of CPC declines.
RKG reports that for four straight quarters Google has lost some paid search spend and click share to Bing. In Q4, Google still commanded 84% of spend and 83% of clicks, but that was down from 87% and nearly 86% respectively from the prior year.
Tablets and smartphones accounted for 19.5% of paid search clicks in Q4. Tablets just edged out smartphones with 10% of clicks vs. 9.5%. Mobile CPCs increased slightly relative to desktop. The average smartphone CPCs were 52% of desktop in Q4, while tablet CPCs continued to edge up and had near parity at 97% of desktop.