Search may not be the most exciting area of online advertising right now, but it’s still “the biggest driver of return on investment”, according to a new report from Adobe.

The report has the elaborate title, “Adobe Digital Index: Global Digital Advertising Update” and it covers the first quarter of this year. Compared to the same period last year, Adobe says that search spend increased 16 percent in the United States and 3 percent in the United Kingdom. That growth is coming from an increase in clicks, not an increase in the price that advertisers are paying for those clicks — which, for Google, actually fell 5 percent. (The graph above also suggests that search spending fell compared to the previous quarter, but that may just be seasonal variation.)

via Adobe Online Ad Report: Search Spending Up 16 Percent, Mobile Traffic Quadrupled | TechCrunch.