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Merkle Q2 2016 Digital Marketing Report Released

We are excited to announce the release of the Merkle Q2 2016 Digital Marketing Report for download. Highlighting trends and changes impacting the digital marketing space, the report provides data and commentary across SEO, paid search, display advertising, paid social and more.

This edition of the report also includes analyses on the rising search partner share of Google Shopping traffic and the early performance of Google’s Expanded Text Ads.

Download the report here.

Here are a few of the major trends analyzed in this report.

Paid Search

Google overall Y/Y spend growth fell slightly from 25% in Q1 to 22% in Q2. The search giant faces tougher year ago spend comparisons heading into Q3, as Google added its third text ad above organic links on phones in July of 2015, spurring strong Y/Y phone text ad growth ever since.

Google Product Listing Ads continued to grow at the fastest rate of any ad format with a 73% increase in clicks Y/Y. Search partner traffic, including clicks Yahoo and Google image search, contributed ten points of overall growth to Google Shopping for the quarter.

Mobile share of paid search traffic held steady from Q1 to Q2, with phone and tablet traffic shares remaining at 39% and 14%, respectively.

Organic Search & Social

Organic visits fell across all devices and 7% overall Y/Y in Q2, as Google updates made features such as ads and the Local Pack much more prominent over the past year, to the detriment of organic visits. Overall organic visits were up 11% last Q2.

Among the major search engines, only Bing registered positive organic visit growth Y/Y in Q2. Heading into its acquisition by Verizon, Yahoo organic search fell 14%.

Social media continues to account for roughly the same share of all site traffic as at the beginning of 2015, with 2.8% share in Q2.

Comparison Shopping Engines

Advertisers drove 23% and 33% more revenue Y/Y in Q2 out of comparison shopping engines Connexity and the eBay Commerce Network, respectively. These two networks account for 97% of CSE spend.

Connexity and the eBay Commerce Network combined to account for 9% as much revenue as Google Product Listing Ads in Q2 for advertisers using all three platforms.


Overall display spend grew 62% Y/Y, with 62% of Q2 2016 spend allocated to retargeting efforts and 38% to campaigns aimed at prospects.

Mobile devices accounted for 28% of all Google Display Network traffic in Q2, with 16% of all GDN traffic coming from phones and 12% from tablets.

Download the Q2 2016 Digital Marketing Report for more.