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Tech Paid-Search Spending Exceeds Forecast

January 9, 2012
Paid-search spending among high-tech and consumer-electronics advertisers grew 28% in the fourth quarter of 2011 over the same quarter a year earlier, and up 7% over strong spending in 3Q11, according to a report by Covario

Overall, total annual spending grew 21% in 2011 over 2010 levels, exceeding the 15% to 20% projections issued by Covario in the first quarter.

Growth in paid-search spending varied by region: 

  • North America, powered by the US and Canada, recorded strong spending growth in the quarter: up 11% quarter-on-quarter (QOQ), and up 18% year-on-year (YOY); annualized growth was 10%. 
  • In the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), growth was down 8% QOQ, but up 9% YOY; annualized growth was 22%. 
  • APAC (Asia-Pacific) countries continued to dominate growth opportunities in the high-tech industry. QOQ growth was up 8%, while YOY growth was up over 100%; annualized growth was 97%.

Below, additional findings from Covario's quarterly report, based on an analysis of its customers' search-spending activities across all search engines.

Search Market Share

In fourth quarter, Google commanded 76% of the global market share, followed by Bing/Yahoo with 13% and Baidu with 9%.

Among search platforms, Google continues to be the major beneficiary of spending growth. Ad spending among tech advertisers on Google was up 8% over 3Q11 levels, and up 27% YOY. Meanwhile, spending on Bing/Yahoo was down 1% from 3Q11 levels, and down 18% YOY. 

Baidu, which commands the most market share in APAC countries, given its dominance in China, grew 19% QOQ, and 185% YOY.

North America

In North America, fourth-quarter paid-search spending was up 11% QOQ, and up 18% from YOY.

Google accounted for roughly 76% of spending market share in the region in 2011, followed by Bing/Yahoo with 23%. 

Search Engine Performance Comparison

CPCs (cost per clicks) remained relative flat in 4Q11 over 3Q11 levels.

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