MOBILE POWER: Retailers drove much of the online paid search spending in the fourth quarter. According to a study released by IgnitionOne, a leading digital marketing firm managing more than $1 billion in online advertising, paid search spending increased 22 percent in the fourth quarter versus a year ago, resulting in the best quarter to date. Holiday shopping initiatives pushed search budgets ahead by 26 percent year-over-year. In addition, mobile search advertising among retailers gained 269 percent for the quarter, versus a year ago and accounted for 14 percent of total retail search budgets, peaking at 24 percent on Black Friday.

“Adoption of smartphones and tablets is exploding and mobile search is becoming a major part of the shopping experience for many consumers,” said Roger Barnette, president of IgnitionOne. “Advertisers are responding to this trend, which is clearly shown in the enormous growth of mobile search advertising spending.”

This story first appeared in the January 12, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The study also found that, by the end of the fourth quarter, Google remained the U.S. market share leader, commanding 81.8 percent compared to Yahoo/Bing at 18.2 percent.

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