Study: Amazon is the King of Paid Search

December 6, 2017         By: Payment Week

NEW YORK, NY (December 6, 2017) — Adthena (, the leader in AI and machine learning-powered search intelligence, today announced a new study examining 2017 holiday search advertising trends in the consumer electronics category. For the study, Adthena analyzed the entire CE search landscape, spanning top retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target, over a two-month period, October-November 2017. Ultimately, over 370,000 search ads for 179 retailers were analyzed.


Amazon owns half of all CE search ad clicks

According to Adthena’s analysis, Amazon’s share of CE ad spend on desktop sits at 15.35% — the largest among all retailers studied. With their investment, Amazon has won 49.65% of the category’s click share. On mobile, spend and ROI are similar albeit slightly more competitive. Amazon owns a 26.87% share of CE ad spend, winning them 43.18% of the share of clicks.

“The success is largely driven by Amazon’s pure brand terms, versus generic terms,” said Ashley Fletcher, Director of Product Marketing at Adthena. “Search queries on terms exclusive to Amazon, like ‘Kindle’, ‘Amazon Prime’, ‘Fire TV’, and others, offer much better value across the entire online consumer electronics vertical, giving them lucrative, high-volume/low-CPC search conversions. Amazon is the undisputed champion here.”


Amazon leads clicks on generic search terms, too

“Generic” search ads are designed to support organic search terms for a wide range of CE products. This might include consumers searching for ‘nintendo switch’ or ‘wireless headphones’, for example. Or those using research-driven keywords, such as ‘gift ideas’. These generic searches prompt paid advertisements. Generic search terms exclude all exclusive brand terms for retailers.

On generic search terms, Amazon’s 16.87% share of clicks puts them firmly as the leading advertiser in the space.


How do they do it? Volume, consistency and frequency

“Amazon is winning the search wars for three reasons,” added Fletcher. “They are running campaigns against more search terms than their competitors, have high consistency in SERP ads, and are the most frequent advertiser in CE.”

According to Adthena’s analysis, in CE, Amazon advertises on over 30,000 search terms — more than double its closest competitors, Walmart and Best Buy.

Additional findings around volume, consistency and frequency include:

  • Amazon’s average search ad position for all of its ads is weighted heavily on 1, 2 and 3. This suggests that their CE search ads do not fluctuate much from these positions.
  • Major CE competitor Target is running a 2-3 ad position strategy, advertising heavily on search terms which achieve an average ad position between 2-3. Their ads do not fluctuate considerably from their 2-3 ad positions.
  • Walmart is focused on the 3 ad position. They also have a larger proportion of search terms that serve ads with an average position of 3 in comparison to their competitors.
  • Best Buy advertise on fewer search terms overall, compared to other top retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target. However, these ads perform well on 1 position search terms. This suggests that their SEM team have found a small niche in the competitive landscape.
  • Amazon’s pure brand ad frequency (branded search terms only) fluctuates between 53-80% on desktop and 86-96% on mobile. The brand frequency is how often Amazon’s ads appear when consumers search on Amazon’s branded search terms. These figures are higher than the equivalent frequency rates for competitors (on their own branded search terms). This gives Amazon an immense lead over the competition.


Said Fletcher: “This study confirms the impact of paid search on CE sales. Our data suggests that paid search is the key revenue driver which gives Amazon, in particular, velocity and momentum to capture and secure a position as a leading retailer in global territories and markets. Amazon’s investment in the channel eclipses that of competitor retailers — which speaks to their overall performance.”

For the full report on Amazon and CE SEM trends, visit here:

Adthena is the most powerful search intelligence solution today. It is the only search platform in the world powered by a one-of-a-kind combination of AI and machine learning. This technology captures limitless search engine results page (SERP) data up to 24X a day providing brands and marketers with the most comprehensive data set in the market – vital to success in fast-evolving auctions. The result is actionable intelligence that gets refined constantly. Adthena’s “Whole Market View” of the search landscape makes search smarter, more powerful and cost-effective, with a guaranteed 2X ROI for customers.

Founded in 2012, everyday Adthena processes over 10 terabytes of new data, while indexing 500 million advertisements and 200 million keywords in 15 different languages. Globally, Adthena works with more than 250 clients across 14 different business sectors, including retail and e-commerce, finance, travel, education, and automotive. Brand customers include, Autotrader, HSBC, Burberry, Atlassian, and Air New Zealand. Agency customers include media specialists like GroupM and channel-specific paid search experts like iProspect.

For more information about Adthena, visit:

About Adthena

Adthena is the The Ultimate Search Intelligence Solution. It serves hundreds of the world’s largest advertisers through its patented “Whole Market View” technology. Updated daily and unrivaled, Adthena uses machine learning to help digital marketers understand their paid and organic search landscape and improve campaign performance. Processing over 10TB of new data, indexing 500 million adverts and 200 million keywords in 15 different languages every day, Adthena works with over 250 clients spread across 14 different business sectors ranging from retail, finance, travel and automotive. Brand customers include Autotrader,, HSBC, The National Lottery, Burberry, Atlassian, Air New Zealand, ANZ, Bunnings, and Westpac. Agency customers include media specialists like GroupM and channel specific paid search experts iProspect. The user-friendly interface segments data to provide insights into gap analysis, CTR improvement, keyword expansion, ad copy analysis, report automation, brand protection, mobile, Google shopping and benchmarking.

For more information on Adthena, visit: