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RKG Digital Marketing Report: Q3 2014 Released

Today we are excited to release the Q3 2014 edition of the RKG Digital Marketing Report. Download the report for over 50 detailed charts with insights and analysis on trends in paid search, search engine optimization, social media, product listing ads (PLAs), comparison shopping engines, display advertising and more. Click Here to Download the RKG DMR for Q3 2014 Here's a glimpse of what you can expect from the DMR across the different channels we studied.

Paid Search

RKG found that growth in Q3 was fueled primarily by product ads, with Google Product Listing Ads and Bing Product Ads spend growing 73% year-over-year for the quarter. Most of this growth can be attributed to a rise in traffic for the product ad format, though CPCs were also up 20%. Text ad spend grew by only 15% year-over-year, almost entirely the result of traffic increases as average CPC held relatively steady.


Overall, Google spend was up 27% year-over-year in Q3 ,while Bing spend increased 24%, both accelerations from Q2 growth rates.

Driving Google's growth rate were year-over-year traffic and CPC increases of 18% and 8%, respectively. Much of Google's CPC growth can be attributed to the rise in PLA average CPCs, as the format continues to outperform non-brand text ads in conversion rate and ROI.


Bing's growth, on the other hand, can be entirely attributed to a 24% increase in traffic year-over-year, as smartphone and tablet traffic both saw huge increases. As CPCs on these devices are lower than those on desktops, this increase in mobile traffic also played a role in keeping CPC stagnant year over year. Bing's mobile traffic share is now nearly even with Google after historically lagging behind.


Organic Search & Social

Organic search share of all site visits ticked up slightly from Q2, but remained down year over year as ad optimizations by the engines continue to push more traffic toward paid listings.


Google's share of visits driven by organic searches remained dominant and rose to over 83% in Q3, while Bing organic search share dipped to 8% and Yahoo held steady at 7%. In the mobile space, Google's share was even greater.


Mobile's share of organic visits continues to grow, with smartphones and tablets now combining to account for 38% of organic traffic. Nearly all year-over-year organic traffic growth can be attributed to increases in mobile organic traffic.


Apple products remain the leader in mobile organic traffic share as iPhone and iPad devices accounted for nearly two thirds of all mobile organic traffic. Android device share of mobile organic traffic ticked up above 30% in Q3.


Comparison Shopping Engines

Amazon Product Ads' CSE spend share dropped considerably year-over-year as a result of some advertisers being removed from the format by Amazon..


Nextag was the only major CSE to see significant same site revenue decline year-over-year. For advertisers that have already deactivated their Nextag ads, the engine is offering new pricing models in an attempt to lure advertisers back.



Advertisers' investment in the Facebook Ad Exhange (FBX) increased 30% year-over-year, with an increase in CPC of 10%. There's been more competition on FBX with more advertisers getting into the space, as well as a Q2 increase in the size of the right hand rail that reduced the number of available ad units.


Spend on the Google Display Network grew from 6% of total Google spend in Q2 to 8% in Q3. GDN site placements and remarketing account for eleven times as much spend as contextually targeted ads.


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