A major search-engine marketing firm, Efficient Frontier, reportedly saw more lousy spending on Google in February. A source forwards notes from an RBC analyst’s comments this morning saying that Efficient Frontier’s client spending on Google was up only 4% year-over-year in February, even worse than the 7% increase in January (this compares to Google’s actual US growth of 40% in Q4).
RBC quickly notes that Efficient Frontier has a lot of exposure to the mortgage business and that, excluding this category, spending was up 22% in January and 19% in February. (This is an important qualification, but even this growth rate is a drastic slowdown, and Google presumably has a lot of exposure to the mortgage business, too).
RBC concludes that Google’s quarter (US revenue only) is tracking somewhere between the mid-single digits reported by Efficient Frontier and the 45% growth reported by another SEM, SearchIgnite. If this is true, this would still represent a major disappointment relative to Google’s Q4 growth and to current street estimates.
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