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Search-ad sales increased 19 percent year-over-year during the most recent quarter, marking the third consecutive quarter of double-digit gr…

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Search-ad sales increased 19 percent year-over-year during the most recent quarter, marking the third consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for the search-ad market, according to search engine marketing firm Efficient Frontier. Notably, all categories of advertisers the firm tracks increased their year-over-year search-ad spending, including finance-related advertisers, who had cut their spending last quarter. Efficient Frontier says it expects search-ad sales to now increase a healthy 15 to 20 percent during the coming holiday quarter.

The numbers bode particularly well for Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which reports its earnings on Thursday. Efficient Frontier’s report includes a number of bullish metrics on the search giant. Among them: Cost per click on Google was up 14 percent year-over-year and paid clicks were up 9 percent, numbers which Efficient Frontier said pointed to the search giant’s “continued ability to increase both consumer and advertiser demand.” Google’s share of overall search ad spending also continued to rise, an increase Efficient Frontier attributed in part to a “less efficient integrated marketplace in the short run” due to the combination of Bing and Yahoo.

Although Efficient Frontier’s figures do not always mirror Google’s performance, last quarter, Efficient Frontier said that overall search-ad sales had increased 24 percent year-over-year — a figure that was almost identical to the year-over-year increase in sales that Google posted a few days later. On average, analysts expect that Google will post a 19.8 percent jump in sales this quarter. We’ll have full coverage of Google’s earnings on Thursday.

By Joseph Tartakoff

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