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The Search Agency's State of Paid Search Report: Q3 2012

The Search Agency’s State of Paid Search Report summarizes current paid search marketing trends across search engines, devices, and industries.

To uncover key trends for Quarter Three (Q3) 2012, the agency extracted client data from search engine advertising tools. The sample included advertisers who had fifteen consecutive months of data with The Search Agency and an established and stable business model from Q3 2011 to Q3 2012. All results are based on U.S. campaigns only. Our findings and forecasts are based on year-over-year (YoY) and quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) analyses on aggregated client data that includes:

• The average cost per click (CPC) across all search engines increased 6% YoY but declined by 5.6% QoQ.

• Click-through rate (CTR) across all search engines increased by 5.1% YoY, but decreased 1.3% QoQ.

• Smartphone and tablets continue to drive overall growth in paid search clicks. Smartphone click traffic increased by 105% YoY, with a 13% increase in CPC. For tablets, click traffic increased 339% YoY with flat CPCs.