*Search Engine Marketing Consulting Blog

Introduction to Polish Search Engine Marketing Market

April 17th, 2009 | Autor: Radoslaw Kmita

Headquartered in Poland, MaxROY.com is an active player on the search engine marketing market. SEM markets differ from country to country. With this article we would like to highlight the Polish market’s particularities. Apart from some basic information on the current development of Polish Internet market in general, Internet marketing with a special emphasis on SEM will also be discussed.

How Many Internet Users Can Be Reached?

Following Internetworldstats.com data, there are 16 million active Internet users in Poland. In consequence, Poland is ranked eight as far as the number of Internet users is concerned. As opposed to 14.1 million Internet users in 2007, the increase exceeded 13%! Year by year Poland remains close to West European standards.

This is a clear indication of how important Internet is for e-marketers, including the companies placing their ads in the search engines.

Fig 1: Number of Internet users ranked by country

(Source: Internetworldstats.com)

Advertising Potential

Cheap and of a big and dynamically developing reach, Internet advertising has become an ideal solution for the Polish companies.
To date, on-line advertising has been developing the fastest among all the advertising media, both worldwide and in Poland. As per latest reports, it is featured by an unbelievable spending increase on the Polish Internet advertising market. According to IAB Polska, the first part of 2008 saw as much as PLN 531 million spent on Internet advertising. In the meantime, the entire spending on Internet advertising in Poland totalled PLN 743 million in the last year. With such an amount peaked, the radio advertising market has been outdistanced for the first time. Hence, the I Q 2008 growth of the Polish Internet advertising market compared to 2007 reached the impressive rate of 57%. If the trend above continued in the second part of 2008, it would mean a big success for the entire branch and a clear distinction in comparison with the rest of Europe. One of the main reasons behind this growth, especially noticeable recently, was pay-per-click advertisement.

Polish Internet Advertising Market Still at the Stage of Development

The high dynamics of Polish Internet advertising market growth can be attributed to the relatively early stage of this market development. Internet as an advertising medium is now more and more discovered and appreciated.

Graph No. 2: Internet users in Poland per age

(Source: IAB reports of 2008)

Poland follows the market trend noticeable in more developed countries, where the spending on Internet advertising (in percent terms) is significantly higher.

What Trends PPC Advertising is Going to Follow?

The PPC advertising was rarely used due to the lack of Polish advertisers’ experience. Nevertheless, the situation has been changing rapidly over the recent years.

The trend which the Internet advertising is supposed to follow is set by the Western countries e.g. the UK or the USA, with PPC as a driving force behind the boom of the Internet advertising as a whole. The comparison of spending in the Polish and the British market serves as a good example here. In Poland, the PPC share in relation to all on-line advertising spending in 2007 was 19.7% to reach 26% in 2008. In the UK, the European leader, the share in question amounts to 57.6%.

Graph No. 3: Types of advertising by market share in Poland, Germany and the UK.


(Source: IAB reports of 2008)

As shown above, the Internet advertising in Poland will be more and more directed towards SEM. It is clear that Poland closely follows the West European pattern. As per Interactive Advertising Bureau Polska forecast, PPC spending is expected to quickly reach the share of graphic advertising, and over the time – outdistance it.

PPC Reach

With as much as 95% hits generated by Google engine for queries keyed-in in Poland, this is the only big player on search engine market. This overwhelming market share advantage is a clear indication how important Google Adwords – a PPC platform – is. The market has been getting more and more consolidated since Google search engine appeared on it. Google engine’s share from 85% in 2006 reached 95.9% in March 2009. Smaller players were losing their market shares accordingly, the example is Netsprint, which have lost ca. 5% market share between 2006 and 2009. Moreover, Onet.pl – the biggest Polish portal – abandoned using its own search engine and started using Google (both in terms of SEO and PPC) in April 2008.

A Significant Impact of Browsers

Google’s search engine gains on popularity against competition also due to a huge popularity of Internet browsers which are alternative to Internet Explorer. Their market share totals as much as 53% (Firefox, Opera and Chrome altogether), which means that Google engine is used in more than a half of the browsers on the Polish market.

Google Engine Use on Increase

More and more large-scale information and social networking websites start using Google search engine. Examples are the following: Onet.pl, Dziennik.pl, Interia.pl, Rzeczpospolita.pl, Nasza-klasa.pl (the biggest social networking website in Poland) let alone a number of smaller websites. Alexa.com in their “Top Sites In Poland” shows the Google search engine’s domination among the first 10 websites of the biggest reach.



Even though the websites listed above use Google service, and make the space for Google’s ads available, they also keep their own advertising activity and divide their advertising space between their boxes and the Google ones. The outlined situation  refers mainly to Onet Boksy – an advertising platform.


The Biggest Social Networking Website in Poland to Start Using Google Search Engine

It goes without saying that social networking sites gained a huge popularity in 2008. nasza-klasa.pl – the most popular among them (similar to facebook.com or classmates.com) – taking pride in having more than 80% reach among the Internet users in Poland (ranked just behind Onet.pl – an information website and Google.pl) has switched to use Google search engine in its own search machine. Undoubtedly, this change will make Google search engine’s reach bigger, and in consequence Google Adwords will also gain in popularity.

Other Search Engines Available on the Polish Market

Next to Google, Netsprint.pl is the most frequently used search engine in Poland. Its popularity is mainly due to the fact it is used by wp.pl – one of the biggest information websites in Poland. Nonetheless, Netsprint.pl’s market share is down step by step.

Another search engine on the Polish market is Microsoft MSN. Its market share amounts to 2.1%, whereby its average share over the last years was ca. 1.5%. It seems that the figure could be attributed to unconscious use of less experienced Internet users, with Microsoft Internet Explorer browser preinstalled on their PCs.

(Source: PBI/Gemius Megapanel, December 2008)

Misperception of Some Polish Search Engines

As per comScore report the most frequently used search engines in Central and Eastern Europe are the following: QXL Ricardo – the net of auction websites (with Allegro.pl headquartered in Poland) and nasza-klasa.pl – social networking website. This rank lists allegro.pl, nasza-klasa.pl and google.pl to be the biggest three search engines in Poland. However, it is a mistake to compare search engines searching throughout the entire Internet with the ones whose search is based on internal resources of a given service (e.g. allegro.pl and nasza-klasa.pl). Even though they are the most frequently used search engines in Poland, they should not be juxtaposed with one another.


To sum up – the resources of Polish Internet become more and more popular for all those companies which finally open up to the new advertising channel. However, this process is associated with the increase in competitiveness and changing the price of a click. Some years ago, an AdWords advertiser or a person running SEO-related activities was in position to achieve excellent results while bearing a relatively low cost. Nowadays, the situation is much different. With market quickly becoming more and more mature, more efficient undertakings, customized and of better quality than those offered in large numbers on the market are of crucial importance.

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3 Responses to “Introduction to Polish Search Engine Marketing Market”

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It is a corporate blog by MaxROY.com
The Blog’s Mission:

  • Let English-speaking community of SEM know a few things about the specificity of Polish, Central and Eastern European market.
  • Reach people from top management CEE corporation and indicate them how crucial search engines marketing is in the strategy of companies.

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