Google’s Q1 removal of right hand rail ads in favor of a 4th text ad at the top of the page initially resulted in a surge in the share of non-brand desktop text ad clicks for the 4th position, but that has since stabilized, according to the latest quarterly digital marketing report [download page] from Merkle.
The 4th position garnered about 8% of non-brand desktop search ad clicks in October, per Merkle’s analysis, while the 3rd position captured about 13% of clicks. The top position, meanwhile, accounted for almost one-third (32%) of clicks, while the second position captured 19%. That means that the top 2 positions accounted for about half (51%) of Google non-brand desktop text ad clicks, while positions outside of the top 4 captured a little more than one-quarter (28%) of clicks.
It’s a different story for the 3rd and 4th positions on mobile: in Q3, the 3rd position received about 10% of non-brand phone text ad clicks, while the 4th position captured about 4.4%.
Meanwhile, the analysis of Merkle clients indicates that mobile accounted for 62% share of Google search ad clicks in Q3, with mobile phones comprising almost half (49% share) of clicks alone. Desktops were more prominent in other search engines, accounting for 58% share of Yahoo Gemini search ad clicks and 72% of Bing Ads clicks.
Google continues to hold a commanding lead in US search ad clicks, with 95% of all search ad clicks that took place on mobile phones in Q3, 86% of search ad clicks on tablets and 78% on desktops.