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Covario has just issued its Global Paid Search Spend Analysis for Q4 2013, revealing that global spend on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has increased by 13% from Q3 and 7% year-on-year.

Paid search on mobile also had an incredible 2013, with impressive numbers recorded for Android, iPhone and iPad activations. Total advertising spend on mobile grew 23% in Q4 2013 from Q3. This is 55% up from the same period in 2012.

Keyword pricing wise, the average cost-per-click (CPC) came down in Q4 2013, however the average CPC rose 10% versus the same period in 2012.

Here's the global paid search activity for Q4 2013:


The USA's search spend was up 17% quarter-on-quarter and 9% year-on-year.

However Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) showed a small decline in search spend, with quarter-over-quarter spend declining 1% and year-on-year declining 8%. This possibly due to an overall decline CPCs.

Ad effectiveness has improved in EMEA though, with a 60% increase in click-through-rates (CTR) compared to 2012.

The Asia/Pacific region (APAC) showed a 5% rise in search spend over Q3 and by 21% year-on-year. This was driven by a 13% rise in CTRs and a 20% rise in click traffic.

Search engines

Google continues to dominate with 84% of the world's paid search market share. Advertising spend in Q4 with Google was up 7% from the previous year.

The Yahoo-Bing Network holds 8% of the world's paid search spend market share. Year-over-year quarterly spending grew 23%. Q4 saw a 6% rise from Q3.

Baidu received 20% of APAC's Q4 budgets, with 75% going to Google. Baidu has 80% lower CPCs than Google and higher than average CTRs, resulting in 55% of all clicks in APAC.

Here's a closer look at global search engine market share.


Mobile now represents 20% of total search spending worldwide. 

The ad spend between smartphones and tablets widened in Q4 to 34% for smartphones and 66% for tablets.

For more information on PPC, download our Paid Search Marketing Best Practice Guide or check out this guide to what is paid search and why do you need it?

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 16 January, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (1)

Oliver Ewbank

Oliver Ewbank, Digital Marketing Manager at Koozai

Interesting stats. This number will increase again in 2014. For every domain hit by a manual penalty Google will give a free £25 AdWords voucher!

over 2 years ago

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