Here are some of the most interesting digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week.

Stats include Google’s Q4 earnings, performance marketing spend in the UK, Instagram’s 90m users, email spam and Google’s UK market share.

For more digital marketing stats, check out our Internet Statistics Compendium.

Google’s Q4 earnings

  • Google reported its Q4 earnings this week, delivering $14.4bn in revenue, a 36% year-over-year increase, and earnings of $2.9bn, up from $2.7bn in the same quarter in 2011.
  • All told, Google produced over $50bn in 2012, a record for the company.

Google’s search market share drops below 90%

  • UK internet users made 2.7bn visits to search engines in December 2012, an increase of 400m visits compared to December 2011.
  • This represents a 17% increase year-on-year, and confirms that it was a particularly strong Christmas period for search.
  • Interestingly, the data from Experian Hitwise also shows that Google’s market share dropped below 90% for the second month in a row to 88%; its lowest point for five years.

Performance marketing makes £9bn for UK brands in 2012

  • Advertisers in the UK spent £814m on online performance marketing such as affiliate marketing and lead generation last year, and logged £9bn in sales as a result, according to the IAB.
  • This equates to a payback of £11 for every £1 spent.

Instagram hits 90m users

  • Despite the furore over its privacy policy, Instagram announced this week that its user base is increasing at a rate of 10% a month.
  • Around 90m people use the app on a monthly basis, with roughly 40m photos uploaded every day.

UK adspend increases

  • UK advertising expenditure in the third quarter of 2012 amounted to £4bn, a 0.8% increase year-on-year, and is expected to reach a total of £16.8bn for the year, according to data from Warc and the Advertising Association.
  • TV, radio and press saw drops of 7.2%, 4% and 9.6% respectively during the quarter, but out-of-home grew significantly, up 25.4% to nearly £270m.
  • Internet advertising continued to buck the trend, with an estimated increase of 10.9% in Q3.
  • Overall, online spend is expected to have reached £5.3bn in 2012.

Search spend increases in 2012

  • New stats from Covario show that global spend on pay-per-click search advertising was 15% higher in Q4 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.
  • Overall annual search expenditure for last year was 18% higher than in 2011.
  • In Europe search spend grew by 10% year-on-year during the Q4. In comparison the Americas recorded a rise of 21%, while Asia-Pacific grew 13%.

Consumers resent email spam

  • Three quarters (75%) of British adults would resent a company that bombarded them with emails, while 40% said they refuse to share their details with brands even if it means receiving better-targeted offers and discounts.
  • The findings come from an Emailvision survey of 2,000 British adults, which also showed that only 28% of people are willing to share their name and 38% their age.

UK consumers are less brand loyal when trying new products

  • When it comes to new product launches, UK consumers (with internet access) are more willing to consider switching to a new brand (59%) than consumers globally (50%), according to a new study from Nielsen.
  • The Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment – which surveyed more than 29,000 internet respondents in 58 countries – shows that over half (52%) of UK consumers say they won’t purchase an innovative new product until it has proven itself.
  • Britons are less cautious about needing this proof-of-concept than consumers globally (60%) and across Europe (58%). 40% of Britons say they prefer to buy from a UK brand rather than a large global one.
  • TV ads are the single most important source of information on new products, cited by one quarter (25%) of UK respondents, followed by free samples (21%), internet searching (19%), friends/family (16%) and in-store information (12%).

Did slow sites impact Christmas sales?

  • A report focused on the top 21 UK retailers by Intechnica has revealed that many lost out at the most demanding times this Christmas and New Year due to slow pages and page unavailability.
  • Unsurprisingly, website speed and availability dropped across the board during the busier times, such as Boxing Day at 2pm.
  • The fastest mobile landing page during the Christmas period was Sainsbury’s at 3.6 seconds – not surprising as it also has the lightest home page at 23kB.
  • The heaviest mobile homepage – – weighed in at 534.3kB and was the slowest at 31.8 seconds.
  • The average homepage weight of the top five fastest was 46.6kB. For the bottom five, it was 270.2kB – over five times as large.
  • While some sites weren’t the slowest in terms of homepage response time, transactional response times were at times over twice as slow.
  • For example HMV averaged eight seconds to land on the homepage (still pretty slow), then 19.5 seconds to land and then complete a basic search for its top advertised item.
  • Not surprising when its average land and search transaction weighs in at 1289.8kB to a mobile browser.

Consumers still have security concerns

  • A new survey of 1,500 consumers by 1&1 Internet has found that security is still a key concern online.
  • 59% of respondents said they worry about the risk of their details being compromised each time they input them, while 25% have abandoned a purchase due to fears of the level of security.
  • 46% said they were likely to spend more with a business that takes steps to enhance website security.