Eight most interesting search marketing news stories of the week

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Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from around the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week we begin with a bounty of up-to-date search marketing stats, then we end with some bizarre Google searches and a quiz. A perfect Friday round-up I’d say. Maybe I can find a cat gif somewhere too. No promises though!

Google search spending growth has slowed to 22% as CPCs fall 9%

We have a bumper load of search marketing stats from Merkle this week, all of which plot the various search trends of Q2 2016.

The full report covers paid search, organic search, social media, display advertising, and comparison shopping engines, but for now here’s a handful of the most interesting revelations…

  • Advertiser spending on Google paid search grew 22% Y/Y in Q2 2016, a slight deceleration from 25% growth in Q1.
  • Click growth increased slightly to 34%, but CPCs fell 9%.
  • Spending growth for Google text ads slowed to 10% Y/Y as CPC growth for brand keywords fell from 10% in Q1 to 0% in Q2.
  • Google Shopping Ad spending growth rose to 43% as an influx of partner traffic bolstered total click volume.
  • Organic search visits fell 7% Y/Y in Q2, down from 11% Y/Y growth a year earlier, as organic listings face increased competition from paid search ads, particularly on mobile.
  • Mobile’s share of organic search visits rose to 46%, but that still lags behind the 53% of paid search clicks that mobile produces.

Social media ad spend up nearly 50% fuelled by mobile and dynamic product ads

Spend on social advertising has increased by 47% year-on-year (YoY) in Q2 2016, with social ads attracting a 21% higher cost-per-click (CPC) according to the latest global data from Kenshoo.

Growth continues to be driven by mobile, which accounts for 64% of spend, with retailers’ Dynamic Product Ads on Facebook and Instagram, as well as video, playing an increasing role in paid social.

Budgets directed to mobile search ads and Product Listing Ads (PLAs) climbed 63% and 71%, respectively, leading to a rise in overall search advertising spend of 10% YoY.

Paid search spend increased by 4% in Q2 2016

AdGooroo released its quarterly paid search report which examines all US Google desktop text ad activity on the top 50,000 keywords across 14 of Google’s industry categories in Q2 2016 vs. Q1.

Here are some of the findings:

  • Paid search spend increased by 4%
  • Total impressions and clicks dropped by 19% and 3%, respectively
  • The average cost per click increased by 8% quarter-over-quarter, while the average clickthrough rate increased by 18%
  • The number of advertisers decreased from Q1 to Q2 in all 14 categories, dropping by a total of 12%

Google brings programmatic to native ads

As Al Roberts reported this week, Google announced that DoubleClick publishers can make all or some of their web and app native ad inventory available through the service, and advertisers can purchase that inventory programmatically through DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Al goes on to report:

“DoubleClick native programmatic asks advertisers to supply creative components, such as headline and body text, and DoubleClick automatically formats the content for the publisher’s site and the device the viewer is using. The native ad units come in two flavors: a traditional banner slot and a responsive fluid ad slot.”

There are more than 200 publishers already signed up to offer programmatic native ads through DoubleClick.

Verizon acquires Yahoo’s operating business for $4.8 billion

As Sophia Loras reported this week, Verizon has agreed to acquire Yahoo’s operating business in a $4.8 billion cash deal, sealing the fate of one of the internet’s pioneers.

Under the deal Verizon will amalgamate Yahoo’s search, email, video, mobile, digital and advertising assets with it’s AOL entity. Verizon acquired AOL in a $4.4 billion deal last year to enhance its programmatic offerings.

Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer of Yahoo stated:

“As one of the largest wireless and cable companies in the world, Verizon opens the door to extensive distribution opportunities. With more than 100 million wireless customers, a shared view of the importance of mobile and video ad tech, a deep content focus through AOL, Verizon brings clear synergies to the table.”

Google AdWords unveils three new mobile ad innovations

According to a Google blog post, three new mobile ad features will begin rolling out in AdWords to all advertisers this week.

Expanded text ads

These are optimized for the screen sizes of the most popular smartphones and feature two headlines, each with 30 characters, and one long 80-character description line. That’s nearly 50% more ad text for you to highlight your products and services.

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Responsive ads for display

Google will now help you build your own responsive ads for display. Just provide a 25-character or 90-character headline, a 90-character description, an image, and a URL, and Google will design ads that fit perfectly across more than two million apps and websites on the Google Display Network.

Set device bid adjustments

New device bid adjustments allow you to maintain the efficiency of managing a consolidated campaign that reaches consumers across devices while giving you more control to set individual bid adjustments for each device type — mobile devices, computers, and tablets.

Top 20 craziest Google queries

As reported this week by Search Engine Journal, Digitaloft has collected data on the most bizarre searches undertaken on Google and the findings should probably be cause for some concern…

  1. Am I pregnant? (90,500 monthly searches)
  2. How do I get home? (49,500 monthly searches)
  3. Are aliens real? (49,500 monthly searches)
  4. Does farting burn calories? (49,500 monthly searches)
  5. When will I die? (49,500 monthly searches)
  6. Why do men have nipples? (22,200 monthly searches)
  7. Do penguins have knees? (18,100 monthly searches)
  8. Why are we here? (8,100 monthly searches)
  9. Is the tooth fairy real? (8,100 monthly searches)
  10. Do pigs sweat? (8,100 monthly searches)
  11. Does my bum look 40? (8,100 monthly searches)
  12. Is the world flat? (5,400 monthly searches)
  13. Am I a psycho? (5,400 monthly searches)
  14. Why won’t my car start? (4,400 monthly searches)
  15. Do men have periods? (3,600 monthly searches)
  16. Do worms have eyes? (2,900 monthly searches)
  17. Can a man get pregnant? (2,900 monthly searches)
  18. What happens if you drink blood? (880 monthly searches)
  19. Can I marry my cousin? (880 monthly searches)
  20. Why does my boss hate me? (170 monthly searches)

Take our fabulous SEO quiz…

Go on, it’s Friday, and it kinda looks like your doing work right?

How well do you know these 25 SEO abbreviations?

And here’s your reward for a job well done…

200 (1)

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