Covario Finds Global Search Spending Grew 17% in Second Quarter

Contributed to by: Rick Clancy, Sr. Director, Public Relations, Covario

Quarterly Analysis Notes Increase in Keyword Pricing for the First Time since Q3 2011

SAN DIEGO, July 5, 2012– Covario, Inc., one of the nation’s largest independent providers of search marketing agency services and management solutions, today issued its latest Global Paid Search
Spend Analysis
, which found that spending on online search advertising in the second quarter of 2012 by its enterprise technology, consumer electronics, and retail clients was up about 17 percent over the same period last year, and 5 percent above the first quarter of 2012.

Covario research analyst Charles Gaylord, who produces the quarterly analysis, called this “a healthy growth rate, but still down compared to the sizeable amount of spending that has occurred over the last three quarters.”

On a regional basis, the Americas, led by the U.S. and Canada, saw moderate spending growth in PPC (pay-per-click) ad spending of 15 percent year-on-year and just 1 percent quarter-on-quarter.

In Europe, where paid search growth rates remained subdued at 2 percent year-on-year and 1 quarter-on-quarter, Gaylord said online spending trends are still recovering from last year’s economic slowdown. With macro-economic pressures continuing in the region, Covario has revised the forecast it provides to brand marketers, suggesting that they now budget for 9-12 percent annual search spend growth versus 15-18 percent advised last fall.

The Asia Pacific region is where major opportunities for paid search investment continue to exist. Year-on-year growth is at 41 percent, while quarter-on-quarter growth stood at 23 percent.

“The reason is continued investment by global marketers in the economies of China, Japan, India, Australia, and New Zealand,” Gaylord said.

The quarterly report, which regularly includes a cost-per-click (CPC) analysis of the major search engines, found that keyword pricing increased for the first time since the third quarter of 2011.  Global competition among search marketers for keywords drove CPCs up 6 percent since last quarter.

Looking ahead, Gaylord said year-to-date search spending is still tracking on target at 19 percent growth, and he expects on change in Covario’s original forecast of 18-22 percent annualized growth for PPC budgets globally in 2012.

This is the sixth year of Covario’s Global Paid Search Spend Analysis, which in total encompasses 22 quarters of data on the PPC spending patterns of the firm’s global search marketing clients. These companies and brands invest in paid search advertising with all of the major search engines in more than 45 countries worldwide.

About Covario

Covario is one of the nation’s largest independent providers of SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) agency services and management solutions.  The firm was selected by OMMA as the 2011 Search Agency of the Year.  It was one of only nine agencies from more than 100 considered to make the 2011 Forrester Wave of U.S. Search Marketing Agencies.  Covario is also the developer of a unique platform for cross-media optimization and attribution analysis, known as the Covario CMO Dashboard™. Headquartered in San Diego, the firm has about 200 team members worldwide, with additional offices in Chicago, London, Beijing, Tokyo, and Singapore.  Covario’s growing customer base includes world leaders in technology, consumer electronics, retail, ecommerce, financial services, media, entertainment, publishing, and consumer packaged goods.  More information is available at

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