Merkle Q4 2017: Search ad click growth fell, ad spend rose 23% across Google, Bing, Yahoo

Overall, in Q4 2017, search ad click volume growth slowed by 9 percent as the average cost per click (CPC) increased 14 percent. Spend rose 24 percent year over year. Engagement and conversion performance from search ads improved, however, and clicks from phones accounted for 50 percent of all clicks for the first time. Those are among the findings reported in Merkle’s Q4 2017 Digital Marketing Report.
Source: Merkle
These search ad trends are consistent with the Q4 performance trends reported by Marin Software last week.
Google ad spend growth slowed slightly from Q3
Spending on Google search ads increased 23 percent overall year over year in Q4 2017. Retail and consumer goods spending on search ads rose 24 percent during the holiday season, according to Merkle’s Q4 2017 Digital Marketing Report.
That growth in search ad spend is actually a slight deceleration from Q3. Search spend jumped 38 percent on mobile and 21 percent on desktop. Click volume growth slowed sharply to 8

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10 big changes with search engines over my 20 years of covering them

Today is my 20th anniversary of covering search and search engines. To mark the occasion, I wanted to reflect on some of the big changes that I’ve seen over the past two decades of covering the space.
1. The search revolution
Chances are, the first resource you turn to if you have a question about something is a search engine, whether it be Google, Siri, Bing, Yelp, others or a combination of services.
This simple act, that you likely don’t think twice about, was a highly revolutionary change to how people sought information. Before popular consumer-focused search engines emerged just over 20 years ago, people got answers the same way they had for hundreds and thousands of years: largely by asking other people.
If you needed an answer, you turned to people like a teacher, a professional, a best friend or a librarian. Sure, there were also tools to use: libraries, library catalogs, yellow pages and professional databases like LexisNexis. But for most people, getting an

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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

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