Yahoo!/Bing Resurgence and Mobile Ad Momentum Lead Strong Q1 Results

NEW YORK – April 3, 2012 – On the heels of a record Q4, the first quarter of 2012 generated continued, strong year-over-year growth for search advertising. Q1 2012 had a YoY growth in search spend of 30.3% -- more than double the rate of both Q1 2011 and Q1 2010. During this time Yahoo!/Bing reasserted itself with the highest market share of their partnership.

Mobile search advertising continued strong growth YoY, with 67.4% of the mobile activity coming from tablets, showing the incredible adoption of these devices. Meanwhile, the global travel vertical had an unseasonably strong Q1 in search advertising with a 58.9% increase in expenditures.

These figures are released quarterly by IgnitionOne, a leading digital marketing firm, managing more than $1 billion in online advertising.

Key findings in the report:

  • • Yahoo!/Bing have strongest showing since Q2 2010 – With a strong Q1 Yahoo!/Bing showed signs of a rebound with a 46.4% increase in US search advertising spend YoY compared to Google’s less expansive 26.6% growth YoY. And while Q1 search spend is normally down quarter over quarter due to the spike in holiday spending in Q4, Yahoo!/Bing posted a 14.3% increase in spend vs. Google’s decrease QoQ of 5.4%. The robust quarter may be attributed to Yahoo!/Bing’s push for increased utilization of broad match keywords, which leads to more competition in auctions. This growth also propelled Yahoo!/Bing to a 21.2% market share – their best quarter since before the two combined forces.
  • • Tablets drive usage as mobile stays strong in US – Mobile search accounted for 12.3% of total search advertising spend in Q1, holding steady following an amazing Q4. Mobile clicks were up 246.1% YoY, showing acceleration over the last quarter. Impressions were up 119.9% and ad spend was up 221.1% YoY, but both showed slower growth than the preceding quarter. Much of the mobile search activity can be attributed to tablet devices which accounted for 67.4% of total mobile search advertising budgets for the quarter. In addition, tablet click through rates of 3.1% were higher than those for PC of 2.5%
  • • Travel vertical has breakout quarter globally – In a time of the year that normally is soft for travel search advertising, there was impressive growth in activity and spend in Q1 compared to the same time period last year. Travel demand (impressions and clicks) was up by 34.6% and 34.1% respectively, and search spend among travel marketers increased 58.9% YoY. Revenue for travel grew by a large margin with a YoY increase of 32.3%
“This was a very successful Q1 on many fronts. The Yahoo!/Bing turnaround was arguably the most interesting with an uptick coming primarily from the adoption of broad match targeting by marketers,” said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne. “And while the growth in mobile ad spend has been an ongoing trend, I am impressed by the level of activity and click-throughs on tablets. This should be a wakeup call for marketers who are not yet leveraging search advertising on these devices.”

This report is the latest in a series of reports from IgnitionOne reviewing trends across the online advertising landscape. This report can be found at Previous quarterly reports can be downloaded here

About IgnitionOne
IgnitionOne, the global leader in digital marketing solutions, enables companies to integrate cross-channel marketing efforts within one platform, allowing for deeper insights and greater online success. Managing over $1 billion of advertising annually across search, display and social, IgnitionOne provides the world’s top marketers with media optimization, cross-channel attribution and website conversion solutions. IgnitionOne’s solutions are backed by proprietary, best of breed technology: IgnitionOne’s Digital Marketing Suite SM. IgnitionOne currently powers more than $30 billion in revenue each year for leading brands, including General Motors, Chico's, Ann Taylor, La Quinta, Travel Guard and Fiat, as well as advertising agencies such as MRM Worldwide and CyberAgent. For more information, please visit or follow the company on Twitter @ignitionone.

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