In the third quarter of 2013, paid search impressions, clicks, and advertiser spend increased for both Google and Bing (which includes the Yahoo search partnership), according to a recent report by The Search Agency.

Paid search impressions in 3Q13 increased 37.1% year over year, clicks grew 16.2%, and advertiser spend increased 23.1%.

Cost-per-click (CPC) in 3Q13 was up 5.9% year over year, but fell 1% quarter over quarter.

Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from US search engine marketing campaigns run by The Search Agency in 3Q13.

Trends by Search Engine

  • Google had significantly greater impression growth in 3Q13 compared with Bing.
  • Google's impression share also grew, reaching 78.8% in 3Q13, compared with 21.2% for Bing. This represents a 15.5% increase year over year and a 4.4% increase quarter over quarter.
  • Google has gained impression share from Bing in each of the past five quarters. 

  • However, average CPC on Google increased 3.5% year over year but fell 1.3% quarter over quarter. In contrast, average CPC on Bing was up 19.6% year over year and up 0.9% quarter over quarter.
  • Google's share of total advertiser spend fell to 82.8%, a 2.9% decrease year over year, whereas Bing's share grew both year over year and quarter over quarter.

Trends by Device

  • Total paid search spend on desktops increased 6.3% year over year but decreased 2.6% quarter over quarter.
  • Spend on tablets rose substantially, increasing 87.6% year over year and 15.4% quarter over quarter.
  • Spend on smartphones was up 118.1% year over year and 9.2% quarter over quarter.
  • Advertisers continued to invest more in smartphones and tablets at the expense of desktop. Smartphones and tablets combined made up 28.7% of paid search budgets in 3Q13, up 65.9% year over year and 10.8% quarter over quarter.

About the research: The report was based on data from US search engine marketing campaigns run by The Search Agency in the third quarter of 2013. The sample only included advertisers who had fifteen consecutive months of data with The Search Agency and an established/stable business model from 3Q12 to 3Q13.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji