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Amazon Powers Past All Comers for UK Paid Search Performance

British brands jostle with global travel sites for clicks

February 21, 2017 | Marketing

Amazon was the UK’s top retailer as ranked by paid search ad clicks on desktop in 2016, according to an analysis by AdGooroo, outpacing a pack populated largely by international travel and domestic retail brands.

Top 20 UK Paid Search Advertisers, Ranked by Desktop Ad Clicks, 2016 (millions)

AdGooroo’s study ranked the top 20 UK paid search advertisers based on desktop text ad clicks on the top 50,000 keywords between January and December 2016. It found generated nearly 35 million clicks, over 8.5 million more than the next advertiser in the ranking, hotel and holiday rentals site

In addition to, the top 20 includes the UK sites for four other travel brands: On the Beach (15.2 million), Trivago (14.6 million), Expedia (13.3 million) and Airbnb (12.2 million).

British brands on the list besides On the Beach include telecom and media companies giffgaff, BT, Sky and Virgin Media; retailers Asda, Asos, Boots, JD Sports and John Lewis; price comparison sites and; and bookmaker William Hill.

“Our findings not only reveal the top paid search advertisers in the UK but also mirror the most popular industry sectors in the UK market: retail, travel and financial services,” said Eric Marcy, AdGooroo’s chief revenue officer, in a blog post announcing the ranking. “In particular, the presence of so many travel brands at the top of the ranking highlights a particularly competitive market for companies in this sector.”

Several companies with heavy UK search ad spending in the first half of 2016, according to AdGooroo, were noticeably absent from the full-year ranking. Among them were Apple, which had been the second highest search ad spender in the UK after Amazon between January and June, as well as local brands Carphone Warehouse, O2, Argos, EE, Three, Currys and Marks & Spencer, among others.

Cliff Annicelli

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