A guide to the State of Search

Posted on Tuesday 16 March 2021 | IAB UK

IAB UK members - including platforms such as Google and Pinterest and agencies such as Starcom and Tug - explore the state of search advertising, the tools available and strategies for success  

Search advertising accounts for the largest share of digital ad spend in the UK. In 2019 alone, £8 billion was spent on search, up by 18% on the previous year. What’s more, this is a trend that we are likely to see accelerate further with the emergence of new innovations and a renewed focus on ecommerce in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It’s therefore important that advertisers have a firm understanding of their options in this space – whether they are looking to start out or develop their strategies. Although pay-per-click advertising (PPC) has been around for several decades, it’s has greatly evolved over the years. These changes have moulded paid search into what it is today, with a huge range of opportunities for brands. 

As ever, with significant change also comes increased complexity, and it is for this reason that the IAB UK Search Group has collaborated on guidance exploring the state of search. Our aim is to highlight the various options that advertisers have available to them across search marketing - and how to use these effectively. 

The following guides bring together advice from search stalwarts such as Google and Microsoft Bing, to pioneers across ecommerce and visual search such as Pinterest. Together, they outline the latest advertising opportunities and innovations on their platforms so that advertisers can get the most out of search spend. Additionally, we’ve spoken to search experts from across the agency world who share their best practice insights on topics such as measurement, automation and budgeting.

Written by



Related content

An introduction to digital display advertising

Learn more
Digital billboards

How to succeed in Digital Out-of-Home Advertising

Learn more
Back to Basics Guide to Programmatic

Back to Basics Guide to Programmatic

Learn more

Rediscover the joy of digital advertising

Champion connections instead of clicks. Capture audiences' imaginations, not just their attention. Boldly move to your own beat instead of letting tech set the pace. It’s time to rediscover the joy of digital.