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

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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

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Google developing keyboard for iPhone in hopes of boosting search volumes [report]

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According to a report yesterday in The Verge, Google is about to release its own third-party keyboard for the iPhone. The report says that the keyboard will employ swiping/gesture-based typing and predictive text.
Google’s objective is apparently to increase the number of searches coming from iOS devices, the iPhone in particular. With the release of iOS 8, Apple allowed third-party apps to replace its own keyboard.
While there are numerous options today, the two most popular replacement keyboards for the iPhone are Swype and Swiftkey. Swype was acquired by Nuance in 2011, and Swiftkey was just bought this year by Microsoft. Apple doesn’t provide app-install numbers, but Swiftkey, for example, has more than 50 million installs on Android.
This analysis, cited by The Verge, argues that most smartphone users do less than one mobile search per day. However, there are tiers of users, some of whom do a lot of mobile searching, and others who do less. In

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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

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Search Market Share In October 2015 Looks A Lot Like It Did In October 2008

October desktop search data from comScore came out late Friday afternoon. Google appears to have “stabilized” at roughly 64 percent market share, while Bing and Yahoo are also mostly unchanged from September.

Search market share was in nearly the same place in October 2008. Google controlled roughly 64 percent of search query volume and the number two site had 20 percent. Of course that number two player was Yahoo at the time. Today it’s Bing/Microsoft. In addition, AOL and Ask had a larger share of search seven years ago, which has largely be transferred “up market.”
But back in 2008 mobile search was negligible.

The most interesting thing about this month’s data is the increase in query volume. There was 2 percent growth in desktop search volume vs. September. As a practical matter that represented roughly 340 million more monthly search queries. From a paid-search perspective that means millions of dollars in the aggregate — perhaps as much as $100

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.

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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

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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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Bid Boosting On Bing: Discover The Untapped Value

Reaching the right audience at the right price is the goal for every advertiser, but that goal can be frustratingly elusive. Fortunately, there’s a powerful tool at your disposal to do just that: bid modifiers.
Bid modifiers provide you additional control to ensure your ads are shown to the customers you care about most — and not shown to those you care about least — while helping you optimally manage to your campaign goals.
How Does Bid Boosting Work?
Bid modifiers allow you to change keyword bids based on a number of parameters, helping to ensure your ad wins the auction and appears on the search results page. They can be applied to a searcher’s geographic location, the day and time of their search or the device they are searching from. Bid modifiers also allow you to bid on audiences using remarketing.
These modifiers are applied in real time during the auction when a Bing user’s search triggers your paid search ad, and they alter

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Desktop Search: Google May Have Peaked Last Year According To comScore

Late this afternoon comScore released its monthly report on US desktop search market share. Google controlled 63.8 percent of all PC search volume in August. Microsoft (Bing) had 20.6 percent and Yahoo saw 12.7 percent.
Bing was up a fraction of a point at Google’s apparent expense, while Yahoo was flat. Month over month Google is only off 0.2 percent. However the company’s desktop search share is down nearly 4 points vs. a year ago when it was 67.6 percent. Google may thus have “peaked” on the desktop.

The measurement firm said that there were 17.6 billion PC-based searches in August. Google saw 11.3 billion of them. We must conclude then that there were at least that many mobile queries, given Google’s previous statement in May that mobile queries had overtaken search volumes on the PC.
According to StatCounter Google controls nearly 90% of mobile search in the US. Yahoo had just over 7 percent and Bing roughly 4 percent

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