Kenshoo has released a new report looking at global search advertising trends. While paid search budgets have been significantly higher year-over-year for all three of the year's first quarters, the firm says there was not a lot of fluctuation in ad spend quarter-over-quarter (which is pretty much how it went in 2011).
"Last year, there was a large ramp-up in Q3 but this year, advertisers increased their budgets early and consistently throughout the year," Kenshoo says.
According to the report, global paid search average CPCs rose in both Q2 and Q3, following four consecutive quarters of falling rates. They've risen to $0.46 after bottoming out at $0.40 in Q1. They were at $0.47 during Q3 of 2011.
Total search ad impression volume fell for its second consecutive quarter in Q3 2012, Kenshoo says. It's down 23% overall since Q1.
In the U.S., the Yahoo Bing Network average CTR and CPC is consistently higher than Google, according to the report. Kenshoo says:
Over the past 6 quarters, the Yahoo! Bing Network (YBN) has delivered sequential increases in search ad CTR in every quarter except Q1 2012, in which CTR was flat QoQ. Meanwhile, Google AdWords CTR has oscillated, hovering near 1% with a significant uptick to 1.25% in Q3 2012. 6 quarters ago, the gap between YBN and Google CTR was miniscule. Today YBN CTR is 29% higher than Google. Similarly, the 2 engines were very close in CPC back in Q2 of 2011 but now there is a considerable gap with YBN CPC 46% higher than Google. During that time, YBN CPC increased significantly from Q2 to Q3 2011 and then remained relatively flat, while Google CPC has come down from an 18-month high of $0.61 to $0.45 in Q3 2012.
According to the firm, paid search budgets are growing faster for Yahoo/Bing than for Google. In Q3, Yahoo Bing Network ad spend was up 10% quarter-over-quarter and 35% year-over-year. Google was up 75% quarter-over-quarter and 28% year-over-year. As far as clicks, Yahoo Bing Network grew faster quarter-over-quarter but Google grew faster year-over-year.
The full report is available here.