Paid Search

POV: 2017 Q3 Paid Search Trends Report

After a long streak of consistent increases, CPC is down quarter over quarter. For the first time in over a year, a number of factors conspired to bring CPC down. Increased investment in mobile, for instance, played a role because mobile CPC is still lower than desktop CPC. Google’s May update to Ad Rank also contributed by delivering a 4% decrease in CPC for non-trademark terms.

Despite the quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) decline in CPC, iProspect’s data from more than 2,500 Google AdWords and Bing Ads accounts shows a year-over-year (YoY) increase in CPC, which contributed to click declines as advertisers spent more per click, thus reducing the number of clicks they could achieve within their budgets.

Representing more than 220,000 active campaigns, spanning both Search and Shopping ad formats, this report provides insightful and actionable analysis of the trends and opportunities that are driving today’s paid search market.

Selected key insights from the Q3 2017 report include:

  • Google Shopping investment and clicks both continue to rise. Both these stats reached their highest numbers ever in Q3 2017. Google Shopping impressions increased 79% YoY, clicks increased 42% YoY, and CPC increased 15% YoY.

  • Advertiser investment in Bing increasing. For the first time since it’s inception in 2014, this edition of the Quarterly Paid Search Trends Report includes analysis of Bing Ads data across iProspect’s advertiser set. Investment in Bing has been growing steadily since Q3 2016 and continues to grow, up 22% YoY in Q3 2017.

  • Mobile CPC declined 7% QoQ. After hitting an all-time high in Q2 2017, mobile CPC dropped; but YoY mobile CPC is still on the rise (up 31% YoY) due to advertisers increasing mobile investment to align with user trends.

  • Shopping investment and CPC likely to increase in Q4. Despite the Q3 QoQ drop, the November/December holiday season is expected to see an increase in competition and costs as advertisers who are capitalizing on the peak holiday shopping season pull out all the stops.


For all the findings and insights (and to prepare for the holiday season), download the full report and get the information you need to take action in the final quarter of 2017.

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