It’s that time of year when Q1 “state of” reports are published to demonstrate where 2014 stands today.
On the organic side of things, reports show “(not provided)” keyword data in Google is holding strong at about 85 percent, and has since October 2013, according to RKG’s Digital Marketing 2014 Q1 report.
On the paid side, smartphone cost per click continues to be less overall than tablet and desktop at $0.76 versus $0.93 and $0.94 respectively, according to The Search Agency’s State of Paid Search Q1 2014 report.
Let’s look at some highlights of both those reports.
Organic Search: What’s Trending for Q1?
Yahoo’s move to secure search impacted 1 percent of all site visits, according to data from RKG.
“Over the first two weeks in January, Yahoo organic’s measurable share of all site visits dropped from 2.5 percent to 1.5 percent. During the first week of February, Yahoo traffic appears to rebound as a result of referrers, now stripped of search queries, being passed again,” RKG stated in its report.
The iPad and iPhone each drove more organic search visits than all Android devices combined, RKG data showed. iPad users drove 12 percent of all the mobile organic search visits in Q1 (31 percent). iPhone users contributed to 11 percent, while all Android devices combined only accounted for 8 percent.
The bounce rate for mobile search, however, is 5 percent higher than desktop overall. “The gap between the two device classes has been a persistent one with this quarter’s results mirroring performance from two years earlier,” RKG said in its report.
Social media sites contributed to an average of 1.5 percent of all site visits, RKG reported. Facebook reigned as the dominant referrer of that traffic at 54 percent in Q1, versus other social sites like Pinterest (25 percent), YouTube (3 percent) and more.
For more trends in digital marketing, including stats on comparison shopping engines, paid search and display and more, you can access the RKG report here.
Paid Search: The Q1 Status
Year-over-year (YoY) spend was up for paid search advertisers in Q1 including all device types, according to The Search Agency. “Much of the YoY growth can also be attributed to Bing, which experienced steady growth in spend over the past ﬁve quarters,” the report stated.
In fact, spend on Bing grew 60 percent YoY, according to The Search Agency’s data. This was more than Google’s 29 percent growth, the report said.
RKG also found spending on Bing Ads up 17 percent YoY.
“Bing is beginning to represent an increasingly appealing alternative to Google because of its less competitive bidding environment (lower CPCs) and increasingly effective trafﬁc (growing CTR),” The Search Agency reported. “Advertisers may also be drawn to Bing’s more ﬂexible campaign management in the aftermath of Google’s crossover to enhanced campaigns. Advertisers are still adjusting to Google’s bundling of device management, and Bing may represent a more customizable alternative.”
Overall, cost per click was up in Q1 for all search engines from the same time last year at $0.91, but down from the seasonal spikes of Q4 2013, which came in at $1.12 per click on average, according to The Search Agency.
When it came to which device experienced the most impression growth, it’s no surprise mobile came out on top with a 60 percent change YoY. Tablets grew 42 percent, while desktop grew 9 percemt.
For more details on the state of paid search, including more information on trends by search engine and device, you can access the full report here.