Paid search ends 2011 with strong growth

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New York—Paid search ended strongly for 2011, with fourth-quarter pay-per-click expenditures increasing 22% from the year-earlier period, according to a new report from ad management technology company IgnitionOne.

The year was particularly fruitful for Google, which commands a 65.9% share of all U.S. searches. Google's share of paid search expenditures in Q4 was even more impressive at 81.8% of all U.S. PPC spend.

In addition, cost-per-clicks declined 8.6% in the fourth quarter versus the year-earlier period, even as impressions and clickthrough rates increased. The company's study was based on more than 79 billion impressions and 1.7 billion clicks on Google and Yahoo/Bing search networks, Google AdEx and other display networks.

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