Google drove 95 percent of US smartphone paid search clicks in Q1 [Merkle]


If there’s one theme to be taken from Merkle’s Q1 Digital Marketing Report, it’s that Google is miles ahead of Bing and Yahoo in driving and monetizing mobile search traffic.
Driven almost entirely by Google, mobile paid search continues to grow, with smartphone click share rising from 33 percent in Q4 2015 to 39 percent in Q1 2016 overall. On Google, 57 percent of paid search clicks came from mobile in Q1. Overall, desktop paid search clicks were flat and tablet clicks were off five percent year over year, compared to 101-percent growth for smartphone clicks.
Google paid search saw solid growth in Q1 among Merkle’s client base, with spend rising 25 percent year over year as click volume increased 33 percent. Overall, CPCs fell six percent as mobile click share continued to rise. Non-brand search ad clicks grew 42 percent, and spend on non-brand keywords rose 24 percent, the highest growth rate seen in six quarters.
Combined spend across Bing Ads and Yahoo Gemini fell

Search Engine Land Source

2016 State of Link Building Survey coverage

Link acquisition is always changing.
Tactics, perceptions, and even the way search engines evaluate links are continuously evolving. Because of the ever-changing nature of link building, it’s always interesting to examine the state of the industry.
Recently, my colleague Nicholas Chimonas partnered with Moz and Credo to conduct a link-building industry survey. Nicholas detailed his process and the results from the survey in an excellent post on Moz.
I want to cover some of the key takeaways from this survey and offer my own insight and opinions on the current state and future of link building.
Here are some quick, high-level stats on the survey participants:

435 people participated in the survey.
Most work at agencies (42 percent) or are in-house employees (27 percent).
The majority work at companies with 1–50 employees (65 percent).
A large portion work alone (33 percent) or in teams of two to five people (47 percent), with varying structures.
Most spend 1–25 percent (36 percent) or 26–50  percent (34 percent) of their time/work

Search Engine Land Source

Report: search drives 10X more traffic to shopping sites than social media

Search is the single largest traffic driver to websites, according to SimilarWeb’s Global Search Marketing Report 2016. The findings are based on billions of site visits to a global sample of websites and reflect both mobile and desktop traffic.
The report is focused on a variety of metrics surrounding paid search. It also shows the breakdown of traffic from a broader range of sources. Below, for example, is the relative share of traffic from paid search and display advertising in a variety of shopping-related categories. As a general matter, paid search generates more traffic than display except in the “general merchandise” category.

Source: SimilarWeb Global Search Marketing Report 2016
What I find most interesting is that, in contrast to a number of bullish reports on the role of email and social media in shopping, the SimilarWeb data argue these channels drive only modest traffic compared to search. Unfortunately, the report doesn’t give any insight into which channels are most effective

Search Engine Land Source

Contradicting other data, Compete says search traffic growing on the desktop

Millward Brown’s Compete unit issued its 2016 State of Search report. Based on clickstream data, it appears to contradict earlier comScore data, which show a decline in overall desktop query volumes. By contrast, Compete says “traffic to search engines [is] up 12 percent since last year.”
According to the Compete report, search visits per per person are up “almost 50 percent since last year.” Users are more frequently visiting search engines, according to the firm.
In addition, Compete says that total time with search engines has grown by 24 percent since last year, “amounting to more than 111 billion minutes spent on search engines a month.” However, users are visiting fewer pages per session: the report says that pages per visit have declined eight percent since 2015.
Consistent with that latter finding, users collectively are spending less time per visit, which is off 17 percent since 2015. The inference here is that people want and expect answers quickly and are

Search Engine Land Source

DuckDuckGo Ends 2015 On A High Note, Reaches 12M Searches In A Single Day

Privacy search engine DuckDuckGo reported strong growth in 2015, with search queries reaching a single-day high of 12 million on December 14.
Generating more then 300 million searches during the last month of the year, the site saw its average daily search numbers climb from 7.7 million in January to 10.8 million in December.
In 2015 DuckDuckGo turned seven years old with a total of 20 developer meetup groups… The growth we saw throughout the year culminated in hitting over 12 million direct searches in one day in December.DuckDuckGo Blog
While DuckDuckGo has experienced a steady rate of growth for searches since 2011, the search engine saw a sharp rise during 2015.
DuckDuckGo Direct Queries Per Day

Among its highlights for the year, DuckDuckGo boasted an increase in its meetup groups for developers, as well as open-sourcing much of its front-end code, including its Litestrap framework, Instant Answer templates and common styling elements.
The post DuckDuckGo Ends 2015 On A High Note, Reaches

Search Engine Land Source

Report: Top Domains In Google With Winners & Losers For 2015

Dr. Peter Meyers from Moz has published their top winning and losing domains in the Google search results for the 2015 year.
Moz tracks about 10,000 keywords on a daily basis and as of December 1, 2015, here are the top ten domains that get the most exposure across those 10,000 keywords:

Yes, Wikipedia still dominates by far, even with reports that Wikipedia has taken a dive in the Google search results this year.
But the truth is, Wikipedia did take a loss. According to Moz data, they are the second most impacted top domain of 2015 in terms of search visibility loss, right under Twitter. Yes, Wikipedia still is the number one ranked, but their number one ranking in 2014 was much more lucrative for them than towards the end of 2015.
Here is the top losers including Twitter, Wikipedia, eBay, Pinterest, Yelp and others:

How about the top winners?
Well, Amazon climbed to #2 overall with a 0.18% gain, esty

Search Engine Land Source

Top Searches On Bing In 2015: Caitlyn Jenner, Tom Brady & Paris

Following Yahoo’s lead, Bing has released its top searches in 2015 for celebrities, athletes, and news stories, along with a number of other categories.
This year, people searching on Bing for celebrities were most interested in Caitlyn Jenner, followed by Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. The only males to make Bing’s top ten celebrity searches were Chris Brown at No. 7 and Justin Bieber at No. 10.
Bing’s Top Celebrity Searches in 2015

Caitlyn Jenner
Miley Cyrus
Taylor Swift
Kim Richards
Kim Kardashian
Bindi Irwin
Chris Brown
Kylie Jenner
Justin Bieber
Kelly Clarkson

For the most searched athletes on Bing, Tom Brady took the lead, followed by Ronda Rousey and Jordan Spieth.
Bing’s Top Athlete Searches in 2015

Tom Brady
Ronda Rousey
Jordan Spieth
Stephen Curry
Aaron Rodgers
Serena Williams
Caroline Wozniacki
LeBron James
Danica Patrick
Cristiano Ronaldo

Bing also ranked the most popular news stories searched on the site, with topics ranging from the recent terrorist attacks in Paris to natural disasters and scientific discoveries.
Bing’s Top News Story Searches in 2015

ISIS and Paris Attacks
The EU migrant crisis
Earthquake in Nepal
Snowstorm buries NE

Search Engine Land Source Dominating Halloween Costume Advertisers In Google Shopping, the Amazon challenger that launched in July, is famously well-funded, and it’s showing. The e-commerce start-up is making sizable paid search investments in many categories, including Halloween costumes.
Search marketing insights firm, AdGooroo, found led the pack among retailers jockeying for clicks from the top 2,892 Halloween costume-related keywords the firm tracked in August and September with 17.4 percent PLA click share. The start-up has managed to increase its click share on those keywords to 19.4 percent between October 1 and 23.
That’s ahead of Party City at 17.8 percent click share between in the same October time period. Party City could overtake by month’s end, however, if it continues to ramp its investment — the site surged this month from just 4.6 percent PLA click share in the previous two months in this category. Target increased its PLA click share from 12.9 percent in August and September to 16.5 percent so far in October for Halloween costume queries.

Search Engine Land Source

Research Reveals What It Takes To Rank In Mobile Search Results

Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov /
While most marketers and business owners now understand the importance of having a mobile-friendly site, many aren’t aware of the differences between desktop and mobile search ranking factors.
They take a one-size-fits-all approach to optimizing both their mobile and desktop content — and then often only track desktop rankings. For marketers and business owners looking to rank for mobile search queries, this is a dangerous strategy.
According to Google, we have now passed the tipping point for mobile search queries. In May 2015, the company confirmed that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” Then, earlier this month, Google noted that mobile searches now exceed desktop searches worldwide.
With this in mind, should marketers be following a separate strategy to help their pages rank for mobile search? In a word, yes, according to a new report (registration required) released by Searchmetrics which provides important insights into which strategies and techniques marketers

Search Engine Land Source

US Paid Search Ad Spend Growth Slows To 12%, In Part Due To A Still-Nascent Yahoo Gemini

Search spend growth in the US slowed for the second consecutive quarter in the 3Q15, according to IgnitionOne’s latest digital marketing report. The firm points to expected seasonality, as well as to the fact that advertisers are holding back from Yahoo’s still-limited ad platform, Gemini.
As a result of Yahoo’s and Bing’s transition after renegotiating their search deal, “a significant portion of traffic is out of reach of most advertisers due to Gemini limitations. This may cause “budgets to decrease because of traffic loss or to increased inefficiency,” the report finds. The firm believes advertisers will continue to underfund Gemini for some time but expects to see slow adoption, particularly for brand and core terms.
Because of the traffic shifts, IgnitionOne did not report on the individual performance of Bing and Yahoo but said Google ad spend was up 14 percent year over year among the client set measured.
Though growth slowed over two quarters, the report notes that the overall year-over-year growth of 12 percent is

Search Engine Land Source