Search Marketing Industry Sees Growth in 2009, Led by Retail Sector
In the fourth quarter of 2009, the search engine marketing sector posted a 6 percent increase in quarter-over-quarter (QOQ) and year-over-year (YOY) growth, according to Efficient Frontier's Q4 2009 U.S. Search Engine Performance Report.
A key reason for the growth can be attributed to retailers, according to the report. In the fourth quarter of 2009, spend by retailers grew 17 percent YOY and 46 percent QOQ. Additionally, search ad impression volumes that result from retail queries spiked 90 percent YOY.
Despite growth in the search sector, cost per click (CPC) remained well below year-ago levels, according to the report.
CPC posted strong gains in retail, but was down 9 percent from year-ago levels, the report found. Consumers’ average transaction size was down about 5 percent YOY, but a seasonal lift of about 5 percent occurred QOQ.
The positive trend in retail wasn't upheld in other sectors. The following are how other verticals panned out in terms of search spend, according to the report:
- Travel: Spend was down 20 percent YOY driven by weak CPC.
- Finance: Spend was up 2 percent YOY driven by volume gains.
- Auto: Spend was up 2 percent YOY driven by volume gains.