Paid Search

Paid Search Trends 2017 Q3

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This quarter CPC costs see unexpected QoQ decline, Google Shopping investment and clicks continue to rise, and report expanded to include key Bing data.

In an unexpected trend reversal, Q3 2017 saw CPC decline for the first time since Q2 2016. A variety 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), and Google’s May update to Ad Rank contributed by delivering a 4% decrease in CPC for non-trademark terms.


Despite the quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) decline in CPC, iProspect’s data shows that CPC is still up year over year (YoY). This increase contributed to click declines as advertisers were forced to spend more per click, thus reducing the number of clicks they could afford within their budget constraints.


Representing more than more than 2,500 Google AdWords and Bing Ads accounts and more than 220,000 active campaigns (spanning both Search and Shopping ad formats), iProspect’s Quarterly Paid Search Trends Report identifies and analyzes key trends and developments in search to help you maximize your return from this important marketing channel.


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. 

To learn more about what’s happening now, what to expect for the rest of 2017, and how to get the most out of your paid search efforts this holiday season, download our full report.

Download "Paid Search Trends 2017 Q3"