Search advertising data for December from one metrics firm suggests the fourth quarter will prove to be the strongest quarter on record for Google and Microsoft Live Search.

Thomas Claburn, Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

January 12, 2009

2 Min Read

Share of advertisers by search engine

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Share of advertisers by search engine

Google on Monday said it would announce its fourth-quarter fiscal results on Jan. 22, and at least one search engine market research firm expects strong results.

In a report planned for release Tuesday, Chicago-based AdGooroo says that search advertising data for December "continues to support our thesis that Q4 will prove to be the strongest quarter on record for Google and Microsoft Live Search."

According to AdGooroo, Google led the competition during the fourth quarter with 58% growth in the average number of ads it showed on the first search results page per keyword (4.01 in 4Q vs. 2.54 in 3Q).

Google ran an average of 4.84 ads per keyword in December 2007, but it also has run fewer ads since then in an effort to improve ad quality and in response to seasonal cycles.

Microsoft Live Search came in second, with 3.37 ads per keyword, representing 42.3% growth.

Yahoo came in third with 3.01, representing growth of only 8.8%.

Microsoft continued to close the gap in advertiser share with Yahoo, AdGooroo observed, noting that if the company decided to acquire Yahoo, the number of large advertisers on the Live Search network would increase by 157%.

"This would have a dramatic effect on network CPC [keyword prices] due to increased competitive bidding pressure," the report states. One reason for this, the report speculates, is that "Live Search is widely reported to generate higher ROI for advertisers than Google, in part due to lesser competition for key terms."

About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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