Mobile devices grew to account for 18% share of US paid search budgets in Q4 2012, from 16.3% in Q3, details IgnitionOne [download page] in a report issued today. Spending on tablet search grew by 163% year-over-year, compared to an 87% hike for smartphone search spending, as tablets captured 57% of mobile device search spend, up from 52% the previous quarter.
Search ad impressions grew more rapidly on tablets than on smartphones (212% vs. 20%), as did clicks (135% vs. 29%). But, cost-per-click increased by 45% on smartphones and 12% on tablets.
Looking at more general trends in paid search, the study indicates that overall spending in the US grew by 19% year-over-year in Q4, while impressions (+19%) and clicks (6%) also increased. In the retail sector, paid search spending grew by 7%, with impressions (+28%), clicks (+10%), and average order value (+46%) showing stronger growth. Contrary to a report from Kenshoo that looked specifically at the holiday season and found transaction volume to be up year-over-year, the IgnitionOne study sees transaction volume as down 31% during the quarter.
Also of note in Q4, spending on Yahoo! Bing increased by 48% year-over-year, compared to a rise of 12% for Google, resulting in Yahoo! Bing seeing its largest share of spend (24%) since Q1 2009.
About the Data: This data is based on a series of reports from IgnitionOne, which have tracked more than 94 billion impressions and more than 2.5 billion clicks on Google and Yahoo!/Bing search networks, Google AdEx, and other display networks from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2012.