SOURCE: The Search Agency

The Search Agency

October 16, 2014 08:00 ET

Q3 Ad Spending on Bing Increases Sharply; Google CPCs Continue to Decline

As the Holidays Approach, The Search Agency Report Finds Google PLA Impressions Double; Continued Growth Expected Through End of Year

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 16, 2014) - The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm and the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency, today released its State of Paid Search Report for Q3 2014, which shows that Bing saw a 55% increase in overall spend, while Google saw a 2% decrease year over year. In addition, Google's PLA impressions doubled year over year, with a 49.3% click share coming from smartphones and tablets. The report also saw an increase in Google click-through rate (CTR) across all devices, with the biggest spike on smartphones (88%), whereas Bing is exclusively seeing an increase on desktop devices (79%), with decreases in both smartphones and tablets. The quarterly report analyzed aggregated client data from various industries to identify paid search marketing trends across search engines and devices on a year-over-year (YoY; Q3 2013 to Q3 2014) and quarter-over-quarter (QoQ; Q2 2014 to Q3 2014) basis.

"The third quarter saw PLA impressions for advertisers double year over year, with nearly half of PLA click share coming from mobile devices," said Delia Perez, SVP Marketing Strategy at The Search Agency. "Constant connectivity, by which consumers can comparison shop online while in store, is making PLA investments on mobile devices more important than ever, especially as the holiday season rapidly approaches."

Findings from The Search Agency's State of Paid Search Report include:

Bing CPCs Driving Overall Spend
Bing has seen a 55% increase in overall spend, while Google has seen a 2% decrease YoY. The discrepancy is largely due to an increase in Bing CPCs, increasing by 40% YoY, while Google's CPCs have declined by 13%. The greatest CPC gains by Bing were on tablets (76%), while Google's greatest decline was on desktop (-19%).

PLAs Continue to Fuel Google Growth
Google PLAs continue to increase, doubling in impressions YoY, from 8% in Q3 2013 to 17% in Q3 2014 for advertisers running PLAs. Almost half (49.3%) of PLA clicks came from smartphones and tablets in Q3. PLAs made big gains YoY on smartphones, reaching 42% of all PLA clicks, a trend expected to continue throughout the coming holiday season.

With CTR, Google Conquers Mobile, Bing Makes Headway on Desktop
Google's CTR across all devices showed an increase, with smartphones experiencing the biggest jump at 88%, followed by a 43% increase for desktop and 26% increase for tablet. Bing is exclusively seeing an increase on desktop devices (79%), with a 42% and 28% decrease on smartphones and tablets, respectively, due largely to increased partner network impressions.

Impressions Decline as Spending Patterns Shift
While Q3 saw solid growth in many areas of search, overall impressions decreased by 20.3%. The drop can be attributed to increased advertiser competition, particularly on smartphones, coupled with shifting budgets from broad- to exact-match keywords. While Google's impressions declined across all devices YoY, Bing saw significant lift in impressions on smartphones (223%) and tablets (109%) during the same period, due to an influx of impressions from Bing's partner network.

To uncover key trends for the Q3 2014 State of Paid Search Report, The Search Agency extracted client data from search engine advertising tools. All results are based on U.S. campaigns only.

To download the report, go to

About The Search Agency
The Search Agency is a global online marketing firm that combines high-tech and high-touch strategies to help clients engage their customers online and measure ROI beyond a reasonable doubt. With a deep-rooted history in paid search and SEO, The Search Agency understands how activity on the web intersects at search, and executes smart digital marketing strategies that drive measurable results across multiple platforms. Services include Paid Search, SEO, Landing Page Optimization, Display Media, Social Media, and Comparison Shopping Management, which are strategically leveraged to maximize the efficacy of clients' integrated marketing campaigns. The company is one of the nation's largest and fastest growing search marketing firms -- named the largest independent U.S. search marketing agency by Advertising Age and among Deloitte's 2011 Technology Fast 500™. Founded in 2002, The Search Agency has grown to more than 180 employees worldwide with headquarters in Los Angeles, CA, and additional offices in San Francisco, East Greenwich, Baltimore, London, Toronto and Bangalore. For more information, go to

Contact Information

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    Jennifer Conway
    Dotted Line Communications for The Search Agency
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