Search Spend Trends Up in Q1 2010

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Yahoo! losing market share to Bing

US search advertising spending started out strong in 2010 with significant gains in Q1.

SearchIgnite reported Q1 2010 paid search spending was up 11.1% year over year, making it search’s strongest quarter since Q4 2008. Spending was flat quarter over quarter, also a positive sign due to typically above-average spending during the holidays.

SearchIgnite’s growth estimates are based on a study of impressions and clicks across the three major US search engines, Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Efficient Frontier, in a study of its own search engine marketing customers, reported a 20% leap in spending year over year. According to Efficient Frontier, quarter-over-quarter spending was down 8% in Q1, which represented less than one-half the drop that occurred in Q1 2009.

Both researchers reported Bing gaining share at the expense of Yahoo!. SearchIgnite noted that spending dropped most on Bing compared with the prior quarter, however, because of Bing’s above-average reliance on advertising by retailers.

Bing saw 6.5% of US search ad spending, according to Efficient Frontier, while Google received three-quarters and Yahoo! less than one-fifth. SearchIgnite similarly put Bing’s share at 7%, with Google getting 78% of spending and Yahoo! only 15%.

Efficient Frontier also reported Bing’s share of search clicks increasing to 5.5%, up 45% year over year. Yahoo!’s share of clicks fell from 24.2% to 20.5% over the same period, a 15% decline.

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