SEM stats: 10+ of the best from this week


Full disclosure: this may not be as ‘weekly’ as the headline suggests, nor will I be able to promise as many as 10+ stats whenever we publish it, nor can I guarantee they won’t be ever so slightly tangential to search… 

Sheesh I don’t think I’ve ever caveated anything so heavily… however I can promise you this: all the stats we highlight will be useful, interesting and insightful. And if they’re not, I’ll at least sneak in a joke or two.

32% of Americans start searching for costumes before October even starts

The Bing Ads Insights team has released data on Halloween search trends.

This year there are more Halloween searches for costumes happening on mobile devices than desktop. Last year, Halloween searches on mobile grew 1,052% on Bing Ads in 2014.

While the bulk of searches have been generic, specific costumes are now being searched for as consumers narrow down their choice. These are the most popular costume searches of 2014…


Just in case you were wondering, the top five pet costumes in 2014 were: 1. Pumpkin, 2. Hot Dog, 3. Devil, 4. Bumblebee, 5. Cat. Wait, what? Are you people dressing up your dogs as a cats?

Paid-for search marketing accounts for more than half of all digital ad spend

According to the IAB, UK spend on search marketing increased 8.4% to £2.07bn in the first half of 2015

While classifieds, including recruitment, property and automotive listings, grew 6.6% to £547m, accounting for 14% of digital ad spend.

Also according to the same report…

Ad spend on mobiles increased 51% to £1.08bn in the first half of 2015

More than a quarter (27%) of all digital advertising spend now comes from mobile, compared to 20% a year ago. 

Mobile accounts for 39% of display spend, 43% of video spend, 63% of social media spend and 74% of native/content ad spend.

Voice search in Vietnam is significantly increasing

With smartphone adoption increasing from 36% to 55% Vietnam in the past year, so too has the significance of voice search for mobile.

Balazs Molnar, head of search marketing at Google Southeast Asia states that:

While voice search and commands are unlikely to replace typing completely, in many Asian languages it’s harder for people to type using a small keyboard… people find it easier to speak rather than type on their phones.

Alright, that’s not strictly a stat, more of a statement, but it is interesting.

22% of pages in top 30 mobile search results use responsive design

Searchmetrics has discovered that ranking on mobile devices requires a separate strategy to desktop.

In high ranking mobile search results, the average font size above the fold is significantly larger than on high ranking desktop results, while fonts below the fold are smaller.

As well as the responsive design factor above, the study found that:

  • 72% of mobile pages in the top 30 search results contain at least one unordered list to help structure information. However lists on mobile pages are usually shorter, with fewer individual points.
  • The average mobile page file size was found to be around 25% smaller, allowing faster load times.
  • High-ranking content on mobile pages tends to be shorter on average (867 words) than on desktop (1,285 words). 

Gawker accrues one-third of its revenue from native and ecommerce

According to Digiday, visitors click on Gawker’s native ads at a rate of 2% and spend an average of 2.5 minutes per post, compared to an average of 3.5 minutes across its other editorial pages.

As for ecommerce, Gawker earned $10m last year and forecasts a 50% growth this year. Most of this is from Amazon affiliate links.

Younger readers driving digital news consumption

The IPA has stated that for 65% of the time, people read the news in printed form and just 18% of the time it’s via digital platforms. However millennials spend 34% reading news on digital platforms, outstripping print news time (23%).

Millennials also spend 22% of their news time on a mobile phone.

Tune in next week when I’ll publish a 1,500 word rant about the term millennial. But now is apparently “not the time”.


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