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Paid search bounces back, Google expands lead

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Atlanta—Paid search campaigns in the U.S. rebounded strongly last year, with 18.5% growth in expenditures compared with 2009, when search ad spending declined by 13%, according to a new report from search optimization company SearchIgnite.

The surge was fueled by strong fourth-quarter spending, up 35.5% year over year, with December paid-search expenditures growing 44.8% compared with the year-earlier period.

Google expanded its paid-search lead over other search engine rivals in the fourth quarter, capturing 82.6% of U.S. advertising spending, up from 80.2% in the third quarter. Yahoo and Bing, which combined their paid search offerings last year, garnered 17.4% of the total market, down a full percentage point.

Google also dominates worldwide. A report released by business intelligence company IHS Screen Digest found that Google commands 83% of the global search-spending market, an estimated $25.4 billion, up 20.2% from 2009.

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