But search is feeling the impact of the weakened economy, according to Covario’s “Global Search Spending Analysis,” which is based on paid search spending of Covario’s U.S. high-tech and consumer electronics customers. The company estimated that the strong fourth-quarter growth rate was the result of budgets that were already committed.
Further, average cost-per-click levels in the high-tech sector continued to fall in the fourth quarter, down 17% from the third quarter to a CPC of 86 cents. Despite its leadership in search queries, Google’s CPC fell from $1.14 in the third quarter to 89 cents in the fourth quarter.
In addition, click-through rates on Google fell for the sixth straight quarter.