Seven of the most interesting SEM stories of the week


Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from around the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week: the sheer massiveness of this year’s holiday weekend spend, a couple of Google updates and a shameless plug.

Thanksgiving is the new Black (Friday)

Kenshoo has revealed the paid search trends over the past holiday weekend, and they show that retailers are seeing more opportunity on Thanksgiving than ever before. The day of Thanksgiving showed an increase of 19.6% in search spend YoY while Black Friday spend remained relatively flat.

Here are some of Kenshoo’s holiday stats

  • Search spend rose slightly: total search spend was up 3.7% vs. same period last year
  • Search budgets are being directed toward Shopping campaigns: product ad spend within search was up 35% over last year for the entire period
  • Mobile product ads saw even more spend growth: spend for product ads on mobile climbed 85% YoY and now make up 10% of total search spend for the period
  • Overall mobile search spending saw much bigger investments year-over-year (YoY): mobile search spend for the entire period increased 64% over last year


Mobile is also now driving half of all retail search clicks on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.


Cyber Monday surpassed $3bn, breaks the record

ComScore has revealed that the total digital spend on Cyber Monday reached $3.1bn, a 21% annual gain vs. $2.586 billion spent on Cyber Monday 2014. 

This marks the first time in history that total digital spend surpassed $3bn in a single day. 

Mobile commerce is estimated to have accounted for 27% of total digital commerce on Cyber Monday 2015, with $838 million spent via smartphones and tablets.

The weekend after Thanksgiving also reached a major milestone as it saw its first ever billion dollar online shopping day on Sunday, while Saturday sales reached the $1bn mark for second year in a row. 

Bing revealed the top US and UK searches of 2015

Just in case you didn’t visit us yesterday – no it’s FINE, we understand – Bing revealed its top searches of 2015.

  • Top film: Star Wars: Force Awakens
  • Top US celebrity: Caitlin Jenner
  • Top UK celebrity: Cilla Black
  • Top song: ‘Uptown Funk’
  • Top US news item: the ISIS attacks in Paris
  • Top UK news item: General Election
  • Top US sporting event: Super Bowl
  • Top UK sporting event: Rugby World Cup
  • Ninth most popular weird news item: pizza rat