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UK search spend up; Google increases share of spend

UK search spend up; Google increases share of spend

UK search spend increased 14 percent year-on-year in the final quarter of 2010, according to Efficient Frontier’s quarterly performance marketing report.

The analysis by Efficient Frontier – a leading global online performance marketing company – showed that this growth was predominantly led by the retail and travel sectors.

Retail spend on search in the U.S. was up by 18 percent in Q4 2010 over the same period in 2009; and travel sector spend was up 42 percent over Q4 2009. Google continues to dominate the UK search market, taking just under 89 (88.8) percent of click share in Q4 2010 (this is up two percentage points from Q4 2009), and just over 87 (87.2) percent of the UK’s spend. Google demonstrated ever greater dominance in Germany and France, with 94.6 percent and 93.6 percent of the market (by spend share) respectively.

In the U.S., Bing now has 21.4 percent of spend share (the result of the Bing/Yahoo search alliance), but Google is still growing over the same period last year, at 78.6 percent (up from 74 percent in Q4 2009). The UK’s harsh winter weather in December meant that ROI for Christmas search campaigns was lower than anticipated, (down 16 percent over Q4 2009) as delivery dates were brought forward. Despite this, retail searches were strong, with the number of people searching online over the Christmas period up 14 percent overall.

Jonathan Beeston, client services director, Europe, for Efficient Frontier, says: “We saw a significant increase in the number of retail searches ahead of the VAT increase in January, which was likely to be a result of consumers trying to buy before the increased tax went into effect. We saw a similar trend last year, when the first VAT rise (from 15 to 7.5 percent) occurred.”

For more information on search trends in Q4 2010, see Efficient Frontier’s report at

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